Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was aware of the tough battle ahead of her team when LSU came to Auburn Arena on Sunday.
“It’s always a dog fight,” Coach Flo said. “They’re not the most talented team in the SEC, but they’re one of the hardest-working teams.”
It seems that Auburn was not intimidated at all by LSU’s record, as the orange and blue Tigers' offense exploded in the first quarter. They finished the first half leading by 11 points, thanks in part due to Lauren Hansen, who nailed three of her first five 3-pointers, and never trailed, beating LSU 65-60.
Auburn also played efficient team defense from the start, staying in a disciplined 3-2 zone and preventing LSU from getting the ball into the middle. While it did lose the turnover battle in the end, Auburn's defense held LSU to only eight attempts in the second quarter.
Unique Thompson, while failing to get a double-double for only the fourth time this season, finished with 23 points. She and LSU forward Faustine Aifuwa had a fierce battle in the paint throughout the game.
“She was big, and she was physical.” Thompson said when asked about Aifuwa post-game. “We couldn’t do anything but wall up.”
Thirteen of Thompson’s points came in the fourth quarter, where she went 5-for-5 from the field. Aifuwa finished with 20 points on the day.
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Auburn, despite holding a 15-point lead with 2:35 to go, let LSU back to within four points with under a minute left. However, with some clutch free throws from senior Daisa Alexander, Auburn was able to hold on for its third conference win this season.
“We survived,” Coach Flo said postgame. “We held on, it wasn’t pretty at all, but thank goodness we had a large enough lead.”
The Tigers have only four games left before the SEC Tournament. Their next game is at home, a rematch against No. 6-ranked Mississippi State, which beat Auburn 78-73 in January. The game is at 8 p.m. CST on Thursday.
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