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Anma Onyeuku scored a career-high 21 points
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
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WBB: Hofstra's Comeback Bid Falls Short To Auburn

Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Release: 12/09/2012

Auburn, Ala. - Auburn used a strong first-half run to build an early cushion and Hofstra couldn't complete its comeback bid as the Pride fell, 68-58, to the Tigers in a non-conference matchup on Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena.

Junior forward Anma Onyeuku scored a career-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 15 points in the second half, but Hofstra saw its losing streak extended to seven games in dropping to 1-7.

Forward Shante Evans grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and nine points and junior guard Annie Payton added eight points and five rebounds in Hofstra's first-ever meeting with Auburn.

Peyton Davis led Auburn's balanced scoring attack, posting a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds as the SEC-member Tigers improved to 6-2. Four Tigers scored in double figures with Tyrese Tanner finishing with 13 points and Blanche Alverson scoring 11 points. Najat Ouardad registered eight points.

Hofstra, which trailed by as much as 20 in the second half, moved to within four points when Evans' layup made it 62-58 just under two minutes remaining. But the Tigers' Hasina Muhammad drew a foul while driving to the hoop on the next possession to make sure the Pride would not get closer. Muhammad made one of two free throws before Auburn's full-court press generated a turnover and a Muhammad converted with a layup as the forward compiled 12 points total.

Onyeuku broke her previous career high of 16 points set against Eastern Washington on Nov. 13, 2011. The Pride shrugged off a cold-shooting first half in going 42.9 percent from the field after halftime while also holding Auburn to 39.3 percent shooting in the period.

Hofstra played Auburn close through much of the opening half before the Tigers went on a 13-0 run over four minutes, forcing the Pride to play catch-up the rest of the way.

The Pride got as close as within four points before Auburn's four-minute hot shooting stretch yielded a  17-point edge. The Tigers made six field goals in that span capped by Alverson's left-wing three-pointer for a 35-18 advantage with five minutes to go in the opening half.

The Tigers would lead by as much as 20 on Davis' bank shot almost seven minutes into the second half. Hofstra got within 12 on sophomore guard Andreana Thomas' crisp pass to Evans in the paint for the layup, making it a 52-40 game with 10:38 left in the second half.  Thomas had six assists and eight points.

Onyeuku added a three-point play and later converted a fast-break layup to make it  54-47. Ouardad responded with a jump shot to stem the momentum. Davis then converted a layup off Alverson's pass for an 11-point lead with six minutes left.

Auburn built a 39-23 halftime lead in holding Hofstra to 25.8 percent shooting from the floor. Green and Onyeuku put Hofstra within striking distance early as both forwards scored six points in the opening 20 minutes. But Payton showed a good touch from close range, scoring eight points and hauling in seven rebounds before the break while the Tigers connected on four three-pointers.

The game marked a homecoming for Hofstra assistant coach Bill Ferrara, who served as a video coordinator at Auburn before moving on to be an assistant coach at Central Michigan for three years.

Hofstra will have a nearly two-week break before its next game as the Pride will host the New York Life Holiday Invitational from Dec. 21-23. Hofstra will oppose Ole Miss on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. before concluding the tournament on Dec. 23 against Northwestern with a 1 p.m. game at the Mack Sports Complex. For ticket information, fans can call 516-HOF-TIXX.

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