Levy’s double-double leads Auburn past Alabama State 88-49

AUBURN, Ala. – Redshirt sophomore Romi Levy had her first double-double of her career and all 13 Auburn players scored as the Tigers ran 88-49 from Alabama State Sunday afternoon at Neville Arena.

The Tigers (3-1) shot their best 50.7 percent of the season and got plenty of performance from the bench, who scored nearly half of Auburn’s points that night.

“I’ve told our starters I’m not going to wait for you to play hard,” the Auburn head coach said Johnnie Harris said. “I went to the bench and found some people who wanted to play. I challenged them after the last ball game that I needed more. Sania (Wells) gave me more, Romi came in and we all know Romi can score, but what I absolutely love is that Romi fights and gets on the boards, that’s what we need.

Levy, coming off the bench, ended the first double-double of her career with a career-high 16 points and 11 rebounds and Auburn’s second of the season. She also filled the stats list with three steals, two assists and two blocks in just over 20 minutes of action.

It was only her second appearance of the year after missing the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury, and she handed in a career evening.

“I’ve worked so hard,” Levy said of her injury. “I had to keep reminding myself to be patient and my time would come. It has been a long journey, many ups and downs. But I still have to work hard. I’m not there yet But I’m happy now.”

Aicha Coulibaly led all goalscorers with 21 points and had a career-high six steals; She also had seven rebounds. Sanja Wells hit double digits for the second time this season with 10 points remaining with a pair of blocks. And newbie Sydney Shaw had a strong performance with eight points, a team-high six assists and two steals.

Auburn was 36 of 71 (50.7%) off the ground and hit eight 3-pointers, doubling their previous season high. The Tigers also controlled the boards 43-32, turning 26 ASU turnovers into 27 points. The Tigers’ bench nearly matched the starters’ feat with 42 points of their own as every player on the team played at least five minutes, with 12 of 13 playing 10-plus.

A 22-11 lead in the first quarter turned into a 42-23 half-time advantage as the Hornets faced early foul problems while Auburn scored 64.3 percent in the second period. ASU would never get closer than 16 points, and the Tigers shot 60 percent in the fourth quarter. Junior Carsen McFadden bowed out to victory with her first career 3-pointer in the last minute.

Samiya Steele led Alabama State with 14 points, and Cordasia Harris and Ayana Emmanuel had 11 points each. The Tigers improved to 21-0 all-time against ASU.

Auburn will face its first trip and biggest trials of the year so far when they head to Las Vegas this week. The Tigers take on No. 12/9 Indiana on Friday at 7:45 pm CT and face Colorado State in the Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday at 5:30 pm CT. Both games will be played at The Mirage Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip with radio broadcast on the Auburn Sports Network and streaming via FloSports.