Bonner sets mark in Auburn’s win over Ole Miss

Published 2:53 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — DeWanna Bonner became Auburn’s career scoring leader, and the No. 6 Tigers held on for a 71-65 victory over Mississippi on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Bonner finished with 32 points, giving the senior 2,084 for her career. Becky Jackson, who played during the early 1980s, held the previous record at 2,068.

Bonner tied Jackson’s mark with a soft bank shot early in the second half, then broke it moments later with a contested shot from about 6 feet that gave the Tigers (28-2) a 46-29 lead.

Ole Miss (17-14) rallied within 66-63 in the final minute, but Whitney Boddie sank a baseline shot to push the lead back to five. Shantell Black’s driving layup made it 68-65, but Bonner was fouled and made two free throws with 19.7 seconds left.

Elizabeth Robertson missed a 3-pointer at the other end for the Rebels.

Auburn advanced to play either No. 19 Tennessee or No. 21 Florida on Saturday night.

Shawn Goff scored 17 of her 25 points in the first half for Ole Miss. The Rebels fell behind 10-2 early but managed to stay in the game for most of the half against the tournament’s top seed. Auburn led 35-29 at intermission.

Ole Miss never had an answer for the 6-foot-4 Bonner, who opened the scoring by smoothly sinking a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Then she knocked away a pass to start a fast break and, later in the first half, was fouled twice in a row on fast breaks. After the second foul sent her sprawling to the floor next to the Ole Miss cheerleaders, Bonner got up shaking her left hand in a bit of pain.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner came out to midcourt along the sideline to argue when the play was not ruled an intentional foul, but Bonner didn’t seem overly bothered. She finished the half with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Ole Miss’ Bianca Thomas, who scored 31 points in Thursday’s win over Arkansas, was held to 12. She impressed the crowd with a nifty behind-the-back move on a fast break in the second half, but Auburn still led 55-42 after that basket.