WASHINGTON, D.C. - Auburn junior Hasina Muhammad notched her first career double-double, tying her career high with 21 points along with 10 rebounds and nine steals, leading the Tigers (7-2) to a 69-59 win at George Washington (4-5) Wednesday night. The win was also a special one for Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy as it was the 150th of her career.
"What better place to get the win than back here in Washington, D.C.," said Williams-Flournoy, who spent her first eight years as a head coach in Washington, D.C., at Georgetown. "I really did not think about it. When you think about all the accolades and everything you get as a coach, you really don't remember them when it is game time. Our most important thing was to win the ballgame."
The win was not an easy one as the Tigers had to fight off several Colonial runs. Auburn took a 13-point lead at halftime and extended it to 16 points early in the second half, but George Washington mounted the first of its comebacks for 16-straight points to tie the game up with 12:58 left in the game.
"It is amazing, you know the game of basketball is a game of runs but some of those runs are just unbelievable. We just made some terrible mistakes, things that were very costly. Fouling people while they are shooting, not boxing out, giving up 3-point plays, leaving the middle open in the press - everything that we worked on not to do, we did."
Auburn had used a run of its own to take the lead in the opening half, going on an 11-2 run to close out the period for the 36-23 lead.
After the Colonials tied the game up in the second half, the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to pull back away at 51-43 with 9:04 to go. Auburn took a nine-point lead with 5:57 to play, but George Washington mounted another comeback, a 10-2 run of its own, to cut the lead to just one with 4:48 to play.
Auburn responded by scoring the next six points, a 3-point play from Muhammad and a trey from Blanche Alverson, to take a 64-57 lead. The Tigers would let the Colonials no closer than five the rest of the way, pulling away for the 69-59 win.
Muhammad fueled the Auburn offense in the second half, scoring 14 of her 21 points in the final 20 minutes. The 21 points ties her career high and is the fourth time this season to score 20 or more points. She also pulled down a career high 10 rebounds, for her first career double-double, and neared a triple-double with her nine steals.
The nine steals rank her fourth all-time at Auburn in single-game seals. It is the most steals in a game since Kristen Mulligan picked up 10 against Northeast Illinois on Dec. 18, 1992.
Blanche Alverson scored 14 points on the night, including three 3-pointers. The three treys move her into a tie for fourth all-time at Auburn in career 3-pointers with Samantha Williams at 161.
While Muhammad flirted with a triple-double, point guard Najat Ouardad did as well with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. She also picked up three steals on the night.
Four GW players finished in double figures, led by Megan Nipe with 13. Shi-Heria Shipp followed with 12 and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Tara Booker scored 11 and Aaliyah Brown added 10.
Auburn will return to the court Sunday as the Tigers play the first of five-straight home games at Auburn Arena. The Tigers will face Temple (5-3) with a 2 p.m. CT tipoff.