Last season, Alabama came to Auburn Arena and had no answers for Auburn, as it cruised to a 77-38 blowout victory. The Tigers not only won both regular season meetings but also defeated Alabama in the SEC Tournament.
This season, the script was flipped.
Alabama defeated Auburn Sunday afternoon 75-48 for the first time inside Auburn Arena since 2016-17. The Tigers led 20-14 at the conclusion of the first quarter, but the shots stopped falling soon after and Auburn was outscored 61-28 through the next three.
Auburn shot 27.5% from the field going 19-for-69 on the day and went 6-of-26 from beyond the arc. Unique Thompson led Auburn with 16 points and 14 rebounds, marking her 14th double-double on the season.
While Auburn struggled shooting, it seemed like the Crimson Tide could not miss at times. Alabama shot 51.9% from the field and, in the third quarter, shot 66.7% from beyond the arc going 6-of-9.
Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy knows her young team’s mentality is based on its shooting and when the shots stopped falling, it was tough for them to recover.
“I thought we played with great intensity, great effort but they had a little bit more pep in their step when they hit a shot,” Williams-Flournoy said. “When they missed a shot or turned the ball over, the head go down, the sprint back for transition defense isn’t as fast as it needs to be. "And that right there is just a little bit of maturity with a young team. You can’t put your head down just cause you missed a shot or turned the ball over, it’s going to happen.”
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Auburn allowed Alabama to score 10 points off fast breaks and 17 off turnovers. The Tigers were also without their lone senior, Daisa Alexander, who has been sidelined the last two games with an ankle injury she suffered against Arkansas.
While Sunday’s loss to Alabama dropped Auburn to 6-9 on the season and 0-4 in the SEC, Williams-Flournoy insists that it's not time to panic.
“You can never panic, I’ve been a head coach for too long, I know what we do works,” Williams-Flournoy said. “You look at our team and we have one senior that’s out and now you have one junior trying to lead a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. It takes some time.”
The Tigers travel to Georgia Jan. 19 for its next conference matchup.
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