Auburn snaps UF women's basketball streak

Published: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 10:49 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 at 10:49 a.m.

AUBURN, Ala. Auburn passed its first test in the Southeastern Conference with a rout of Florida.

DeWanna Bonner scored 29 points, leading No. 9 Auburn to an 81-65 victory over No. 18 Florida on Sunday in front of 6,090 fans the seventh largest total ever to see the Tigers play.

Sherell Hobbs had 23 points and Whitney Boddie added 14 for the Tigers (17-0, 2-0 SEC), who beat a ranked opponent for the second time this season.

"It's just a big win," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "Every win you get in this league is special."

Marshae Dotson had 13 points and Sha Brooks had 11 on 3-of-18 shooting for Florida (15-2, 1-1), which dropped its first game since its season-opening loss to Florida Gulf Coast, a team making the transition from Division II to Division I. The 15-game winning streak was the longest in team history.

"I just couldn't find my shot today," Brooks said. "I had a lot of trouble trying to get it up today. It was flat."

The Tigers are off to their best start since 1988-89 when they won their first 29 games before losing to Tennessee late in the season. Auburn went on to win the SEC and advanced to the Final Four that year.

Auburn took an 8-7 lead four minutes into Sunday's game and never trailed thereafter. The Gators stayed within striking distance until the Tigers pulled away with a 13-2 run midway through the second half.

Bonner banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Auburn a 42-37 lead at halftime. The Tigers shot 62 percent (18-of-29) in the first half, but the Gators grabbed 12 offensive rebounds to keep it close.

"We just got outplayed by a very, very good ball team," Florida coach Amanda Butler said. "Auburn just had an answer for every adjustment and everything we tried to do."

Florida had no answer for Auburn's 6-foot-7 center KeKe Carrier. She had eight points, seven blocks and provided a menacing defensive presence in the post in a season-high 21 minutes off the Auburn bench.

"We stress that to KeKe every day to protect the paint," Bonner said. "I think she scared them from going in there for a while after she got a couple blocks."

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