AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) – Auburn women’s basketball opened its slate of exhibition games on Tuesday, welcoming West Georgia University to Neville Arena. The Tigers looked strong in this one, cruising to a 77-49 win.
Auburn scored first in the game and never looked back, holding the lead for the entirety of the game. The Tigers’ size advantage over the smaller West Georgia team played a large role in this one, with 58 of Auburn’s 77 points coming in the paint.
Auburn’s defense was suffocating on the night, forcing 30 West Georgia turnovers, 16 of which came via steals. Kaitlyn Duhon led the way with six steals and was closely followed by Celia Sumbane who recorded four steals on the night.
“I think it starts with our ball pressure,” said Coach Johnnie Harris when asked about the defense. “You may not be the one to get the steal but you can cause the steal, cause bad passes. That helps a lot.”
The leading scorer for Auburn on the night was Senior Forward Taylen Collins, who transferred to Auburn from Oklahoma St. last season, where she was fourth in the Big12 in rebounds on the season. Collins recorded 15 points, and was strong on the glass as well, picking up five rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass.
Another standout player for Auburn was former JUCO All-American Celia Sumbane. The junior forward had 14 points, and was a perfect seven-for-seven from the field. Sumbane also added four rebounds and added four steals to her line in an impressive debut performance. After the game, Coach Harris was asked about Sumbane’s performance.
“I mean, she’s committed to playing the way we want to play,” said Coach Harris. “She does a good job of defending off the line and getting her hands on balls, and then she gets to the hole and she finishes there.”
Being an exhibition game, Auburn looked to get as many players involved as possible, resulting in ten Tigers recording double-digit minutes on the night. The Tigers will look to solidify a starting five and build on their big win before their first game of the true season on Nov. 6 when they welcome Jacksonville St to Neville Arena.