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Auburn downs Southeastern Louisiana 80-46 for fifth straight win

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AUBURN, Ala. – Senior Tiffany Lewis led four players in double figures as the Auburn women’s basketball team earned an 80-46 win over Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday night at Auburn Arena.

The Tigers (8-3) head into the Christmas break on a five-game win streak with their largest point total of the season. Auburn forced Southeastern Louisiana (1-9) into 31 turnovers, turning those into 34 points – which proved to be the winning margin.

“There were spots where we were really good and spots where we were really bad,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We looked like we had been off for 10 days. We looked a little rusty. But at the end of the day, we still turned them over 31 times, we got to the free-throw line, but it was a team effort. We had four people in double figures, almost five.

“We want our defense to give us points. Erica (Sanders) came in during the first quarter with the defensive energy that started everything. Once Erica and Jaz (Jones) started getting a few more deflections and started forcing them to turn the ball over, we were able to turn those into points.”

Lewis scored 15 points, her most in two seasons at Auburn, to lead the Tigers. She was 5-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Lewis also had three rebounds and two steals.

“She’s been working really hard during the break, getting shots up, getting in the gym,” Williams-Flournoy said of Lewis. “I’m glad she was able to finally get some shots to fall.”

Freshman Unique Thompson picked up her third straight double-double and fourth of the season with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Daisa Alexander added 14 points, and junior Janiah McKay had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 assists.

Jazmine Jones finished with nine points and four rebounds, Sanders and Jessica Jones had seven points each and a combined seven steals (four for Sanders, three for Jones). Emari Jones finished with six points and five rebounds. And senior Sira Toure found the scoresheet for the first time as a Tiger with Auburn’s final two points of the night.

Auburn shot 45.8 percent for the game (27-59) to Southeastern’s 36.8 percent (14-38) and out-rebounded the Lions 39-22. The Tigers scored 34 points in the paint, had 24 second-chance points off 19 offensive rebounds, and got 30 points from its bench.

The Tigers led 35-18 at halftime after a slow start that saw Auburn shoot just 32 percent in the first half but build its lead thanks to 20 trips to the free-throw line that resulted in 12 points. But the Tigers came out on fire in the third quarter, hitting 10-of-13 shots (76.9%) - including eight straight at one point – to build a 62-37 lead after three periods.

Auburn has forced 20 or more turnovers in every game this year and 25 or more in five contests, going 4-1 in those games.

Following the Christmas break, Auburn will have one more non-conference tune-up before SEC play begins. The Tigers host Xavier University of Louisiana at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, at Auburn Arena, then host the Florida Gators at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to kick off the conference season.

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