Despite recovering from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit, Auburn women’s basketball fell short against Texas A&M, 67 to 69 on Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
Auburn has now lost all 12 of its meetings against A&M in program history. The Tigers and Aggies battled back and forth, but ultimately it came down to Chennedy Carter's jumper with under five seconds left on the clock. Carter, the Aggies’ standout sophomore, leads the SEC in scoring with an average of 21.2 points per game.
“I believe that big time players make big time plays,” Carter said. "It was a great feeling to come through for my team."
Auburn’s first half tenacity was up to head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's standards. An 8-0 run late in the first quarter put the Tigers on top going into the half. The run also gave Auburn its first lead of the night.
Auburn’s full-court press put the Aggies into unfamiliar territory. Texas A&M appeared lost at times and unable to handle the long march to the basket. This march was turned into a marathon when coupled with the defensive ability of the Tigers.
“Y’all just saw a hell of a game,” said Aggies head coach Gary Blaire.
Blaire attributed their win to the offensive rebounds they were able to grab in the second half. Janiah McKay, Auburn’s senior guard agreed.
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“The game looked like it was lost on the last play, but it was lost when we weren’t able to rebound,” McKay
Auburn's defense registered 11 steals, and its defense was out-rebounding the Aggies at the start of the game, leading in that category 18-16 at the break. That soon came to a crashing halt as A&M adjusted on the glass in the second half, out-rebounding Auburn 23-12 in the final 20 minutes.
The Aggies were able to retake the lead once Carter kicked into high gear, sending TAMU on a 12-0 run late in the third quarter. Auburn did its best to rally and come back within striking distance after back-to-back 3-pointers from Dasia Alexander, who finished with nine points.
McKay came down the court to tie up the game with a jump shot in the final 25 seconds. From there, Carter turned on the jets and blew past the Auburn defenders and took the shot to end the game.
“We played extremely hard and did everything we could to win the basketball game,” Williams-Flournoy said. “We just couldn’t make the final shot.”
The Tigers' hard-nose defense backfired on them, however, when they allowed the Aggies to score 14 points on free throws.
“I had my two best free throw shooters on the line and were a good free throw shooting team,” Blaire said.
Auburn center Unique Thompson pulled down 10 rebounds while the team was able to convert on eight 3-pointers. Aggies Forward N’dea Jones recorded a double-double on the night with 11 points with 15 rebounds
This game broke a four-way tie for the fourth seed in the SEC. The team that gets this spot will secure a bye week for the first two round of the SEC Tournament.
Auburn will move on to face No. 25 Missouri in Columbia on Sunday at 2 p.m. CST.
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