It was a tough trip to the Lone Star State for Auburn women’s basketball, as Houston handed Auburn its first loss of the season, 71-61.
Despite a strong second half, the Tigers' early offensive woes put them in a hole they were unable to climb out of on Saturday.
“That’s tough when you’re playing from behind,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “It takes a lot of energy. But it was a great effort, they kept playing hard."
It was a tale of two halves for Auburn, as they struggled to make shots in the first 20 minutes of play. Auburn shot 24% from the field, shot 0-for-6 from 3-point range and had turnover issues in the first half.
In the first quarter, Auburn committed 10 turnovers and tied its season-high with 14 by halftime. Houston capitalized on it, scoring 21 points off 23 total Auburn turnovers by the time the day was finished.
“They did to us what we do to people – turned us over to create quick baskets and take away possessions,” Williams-Flournoy said. “Twenty-three turnovers, that’s 23 possessions that they took away from us.”
Unique Thompson had a successful outing against Houston finishing the day with 26 points, 23 rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss. It was Thompson's 45th career double-double and her third of the season.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
It’s the first 20-point, 20-rebound game by an Auburn player in 27 years when Lauretta Freeman did it against Alabama in 1993. Meanwhile, Thompson's 23 rebounds are tied for third-most in a game in program history and the most in a game by an Auburn player since 1988.
Houston never trailed in the game, shooting 37.8% in the first half and knocking down five 3-pointers. The Cougars saw their lead extended to as many as 17 by the end of the first half and forced Auburn into an uphill battle.
The Tigers improved in the second half, shooting 46.9% from the field. Auburn chipped away at the Houston lead, but every time Auburn got close, the Cougars went on their own scoring run to extend it once again.
“It felt like every time we got it back down under double digits, we gave up a 3,” Williams-Flournoy said. “If we had played the first half like we did the second half, we wouldn’t even be in this situation.”
Despite outscoring Houston 44-37 in the final two quarters and bringing the deficit within six, the hole created by a lack of offense in the first half proved too much.
Auburn returns home to face Belmont inside Auburn Arena Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman