It hasn't exactly been an ideal season for coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, as the Auburn Tigers sit at 13-11 (4-8) and are currently in the bottom half of the SEC. Regardless, when conference opponent Vanderbilt came to town, the Tigers got the result they wanted: a 63-60 victory.
Auburn was led in the first half by 8 points apiece from guards Janiah McKay and Tiffany Lewis as well as a dominant 14 point, 5 rebound first-half effort from standout freshman forward Unique Thompson.
The Tigers were able to capitalize off Vanderbilt turnovers, with 18 of their 41 first half points coming off takeaways. Their 41 first half points are the highest mark since a 75-59 victory over Louisiana Tech on Nov. 19.
However, despite a 17-point halftime lead, Auburn wasn't able to relax for long. Vanderbilt came out strong in the second half with an 11-0 run which cut Auburn's once rock-solid lead down to a mere six points.
However, despite a third quarter in which the Tigers shot 13 percent from the field and were outscored 19-8, Auburn didn't quit.
Fending off a Vanderbilt 3-point barrage, Auburn was able to maintain its lead until the final buzzer thanks in part to seven points in the final two minutes from sophomore guard Daisa Alexander.
"We held on, we held on for the win," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said.
But before that win, 12 second half points from Vanderbilt shooter Christa Reed almost brought the Commodores back in it.
"We knew that Vandy was a three point shooting team, the first thing we knew that we had to do was defend the three point line, and that we didn't do a great job of." Williams-Flournoy said.
Not only did Alexander show complete offensive composure in the game's final minutes, but it was an Alexander steal with two seconds left on the clock that sealed the win for the Tigers.
"I'm glad that we got to hold onto the win because it could've turned bad real quick." Alexander said.
"For whatever reason, in the first half we didn't show up to compete, and they did and took full advantage of that." Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White said.
The Tigers will now turn their attention to No. 13 Missouri as Auburn will try to win its third straight in front of their home crowd on Feb. 15, with tip off set for 6 p.m. CST.