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December 17, 2012

Dynamic duo: Hasina Muhammad, Jordan Price pick up weekly SEC basketball honors

AUBURN, Ala. — Hasina Muhammad did a little bit of everything. Jordan Price did a lot of one thing, without error.

Both Auburn hoopsters were rewarded for a fine week on the hardcourt when the SEC office released their weekly individual awards.

Muhammad, a sophomore from Memphis, was named SEC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after loading up the stat sheet in victories over George Washington and Temple for the 8-2 Tigers. She averaged 18.5 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals and 2.5 blocks in the two games.

Muhammad’s nine thefts at GW rank fourth all-time in Auburn single-game history. She nearly had herself a triple-double, adding a career-tying best 21 points and 10 rebounds.

This is shaping up to be a resurgence year under first-year coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. The Tigers have their best record since the 2008-09 season, which is also the last time Auburn landed two different SEC Player of the Week honors – Tyrese Tanner earned the accolade on Nov. 12.

On the men’s side, Price was rewarded for sinking all eight of his 3-point shots, being tabbed SEC Men’s Basketball Freshman of the Week. Price scored 14 points in a pair of wins over Grambling State and Furman, lifting Auburn to 4-5 on the year.

“It is a blessing,” said Price. “It was all my teammates and my coaches. They set up the plays and got me the ball. I am just happy to be on the team and be able to produce for the team. It has been a lot of practice and working with my teammates and coaches, and I am getting more comfortable as the games go by.”

Price, from Decatur, Ga., has made 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) 3-point tries this season, barely below the cutoff for league-leading percentages. Currently, the qualified leader is Texas A&M’s Elston Turner, at 45.6 percent.

“I am happy for Jordan,” Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said. “He is like a typical freshman. He is a guy who we talk about that he has always judged his value as a player or the impact that he can have on the game by the number of points that he scored. We try to break that habit quickly, and he is struggling with it in some ways. You are not always going to be an efficient offensive player every night out.

“It is the other areas of the game that you can constantly do every possession every game. You can rebound. You can defend. You can be vocal. Taking charges, you can dive. Those areas have more impact on the game than what you do offensively.”

Price is the first Tiger to pick up a conference weekly honor since Kenny Gabriel was player of the week on March 7, 2011.

The Auburn men are back in action Tuesday night against Tennessee Tech (6-4), while the women take on UT-Chattanooga (8-1, including a season-opening win over Tennessee) Wednesday night.

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