Monday, February 02, 2009

Back on track, off the rails

Just so there's no confusion. That was quite the hangover the Auburn women's team apparently had to deal with after the intoxicating Tennessee victory: it extended to three halves in Baton Rouge yesterday, after which the Tigers had (as you know) lost to Georgia and were then trailing LSU 28-23 after their lowest-scoring half of the year.

Of course, the nice thing about this Auburn team is that as soon as the hangover went away, they went right back to being what they've always been: really, really freaking good. Like, immediately--Alli Smalley hit three threes in three shots (she finished 5-for-5 from deep) and off they went, 11-point road win over a team previously 5-1 in the SEC, Fortner's first win in Baton Rouge, la de da de da. Bonner didn't even hit 20 points--she only had 18 and 9, which for her is a fairly serious off-night--and the second half was a cruise anyway. As if they hadn't proved it already, but: if this team is shooting straight, no one else in this league is going to stop them.

Elsewhere, Baylor went down to Texas, so at least Auburn's in front of the Bears ... though they are still a rather mysterious sixth in the AP polls.

Jinx. I knew better than to write positive things about Auburn's men's hoops team. I knew it. I knew they'd turn around after that post and slink back to being the exact same bunch of teases they've always been under Lebo. I wrote it anyway. Oh well.

At least the style of collapse last Saturday was interesting, what with the team's senior point guard and leading scorer showing up at Beard-Eaves not long before tip-off for the following reported reason:

I hope that cleared things up. Strangely enough, Reed's absence wasn't particularly felt on the offensive end: Auburn wound up shooting 50 percent from the field and a healthy 43 percent from beyond the arc. But on the defensive end ... well, 10-of-17 shooting from Vandy from 3 and enough trips into the lane to shoot 31 free throws on Auburn's home court should tell you all you need to know. And so Vandy snaps their four-game SEC losing streak, Auburn absorbs their second-most embarrassing loss of the year--only the drop to Mercer made less statistical sense--and the Tigers' record dips to 2-4 in the SEC.

And in the end both Auburn's teams, as it turns out, are right back where we expected them to be a couple of weeks ago.


jd said...

Why are our women ranked behind 4 teams with more losses? That's incredibly frustrating to me. I know, I know, rankings don't mean anything, but they aren't getting the respect they deserve, IMO.

Jerry Hinnen said...

I don't know enough about the women's game to say, jd. I'm guessing that since Auburn has been out of the national spotlight for so long that other teams are getting the benefit of the doubt first, particularly since Auburn's nonconference slate wasn't especially stout, but I would think the Ohio St., Tennessee, etc. victories would have made up for that. Oh well. Still think they pull a No. 1 seed if they finish out with just the one loss and make a decent showing at the SEC tourney.