Auburn played its final home game of the season against Tennessee on Sunday. The Senior Day game was opened up by a ceremony for the only senior player on the team, Daisa Alexander.
“You’ve seen Daisa’s career here and what she’s been able to do,” Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “Kudos to her for staying when most people quit.”
Despite the emotions pregame for the team, they had to regain their focus to deal with the Lady Volunteers, who ultimately emerged victorious in Auburn Arena on Sunday, 56-55.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers dominated. They forced Tennessee to turn the ball over 24 times. Using Coach Flo’s usual 3-2 defensive press, they were able to tip passes away consistently.
Even when the Lady Vols were able to stretch them with skip passes, the Tigers closed out on them quickly. They held Tennessee to only six 3-pointers on the night.
The same cannot be said for the offense. They shot 17-for-59 on the night, only a percentage point away from their worst shooting performance of the season. Robyn Benton had a particularly poor game, shooting just 3-for-14 on the night.
“We played well enough [defensively] to win that basketball game," Coach Flo said postgame. “We just needed a few more shots to fall.”
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Despite the poor shooting, the Tigers had the game in their hands. Alexander was fouled behind the arc and nailed all three from the line to tie the game at 54 with just 3.5 seconds left.
The excitement of Auburn Arena was high, as some believed the game would be heading to overtime. However, Tennessee had other ideas. The Lady Vols' Jordan Horston sunk a floater to retake the lead with only 0.6 seconds left on the clock.
Alexander was fouled again, but she failed to sink both free throws.
Despite the loss, Coach Flo is confident that her team’s defensive performance will help them in the SEC tournament.
“That’s that same defensive effort and intensity we have to have going into Greenville,” she said. “But we've got to finish it out.”
The Tigers will play in Greenville, South Carolina, on Wednesday to open the SEC tournament. They are seeded No. 13 and will play No. 12 Vanderbilt at 11 a.m.
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