In its last road game of the season, Auburn women’s basketball lost to its oldest rival in the SEC, Georgia, 70-59. This puts that Tigers at 14-13 overall and 4-11 in SEC play.
Junior Aicha Coulibaly led the Tigers with her seventh 20+ point contest of the season. She also finished the night with six rebounds and a career-high seven assists.
Auburn had three players in double digits including Coulibaly, redshirt senior Honesty Scott-Grayson with 16 and junior Precious Johnson coming off the bench with 10.
Going into the game, the Georgia Bulldogs averaged 10.9 steals a game, putting them first in the SEC. The Tigers, who were victorious in this category, ended the night with a total of 12 steals compared to Georgia’s four.
Looking at the stat sheet, marks are fairly even between the two teams. Both the Tigers and the Bulldogs made 23 field goals, had 16 assists and 18 turnovers. The differences came down to rebounds and performance at the free throw line. The Bulldogs outrebounded Auburn 40-27 and went 23-for-28 from the line, compared to Auburn’s 9-for-15.
Head coach Johnnie Harris’ starters included freshman Kharyssa Richardson, junior Jakayla Johnson, senior Sania Wells, Coulibaly and Scott-Grayson.
As the game went underway, Georgia opened up the scoring, leaving Auburn in a four-point deficit two minutes in. After an administrative technical foul was called on Auburn and resulted in two missed free throws from the Bulldogs, the Tigers began to find their offense. Coulibaly opened up scoring for the Tigers with two back-to-back buckets to put Auburn down by three at the end of the quarter.
Not backing down, Coulibaly and Scott-Grayson led Auburn to just a two-point deficit in the second quarter. After free throws from Coulibaly and a basket from Scott-Grayson, Auburn was able to take its first lead of the night, 22-20. However, the high was short-lived as the Bulldogs quickly responded to steal back the lead, later cut by a three point jumper from freshman Sydney Shaw to put the Tigers down by three at half, 28-25.
The Bulldogs came into the third drilling 8 of 11 field goal attempts. Georgia would go on to score 26 points in the third alone led by star player Diamond Battles who would finish the night with 21 points. The quarter ended with the Tigers in a nine point deficit to go into the fourth.
The dynamic duo, Coulibaly and Scott-Grayson, fought to close the gap with a jumper in the paint and Scott-Grayson’s third three of the night to get within five points of the home team; however, the Bulldogs could not be caught.
“It was a defensive battle,” Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris said. “And then free throws. Early in the first half, we turned the ball over, we had 12 turnovers at halftime. We took care of it a lot better in the second half, but we didn’t get a lot of good looks.”
Auburn was without the help of junior Romi Levy as she has reportedly decided to undergo a season ending knee surgery, according to announcers on the game's SEC Network+ broadcast.
Next up, Auburn is back to close out the regular season against Vanderbilt for Senior Day on Sunday, Feb. 26th. Tip-off is set for 3 pm CT. Seniors Sania Wells and Honesty Scott-Grayson will be recognized prior to tip-off with festivities beginning at approximately 2:35 pm.
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Alexa Gardner is a sophomore at Auburn, majoring in exercise science. From Birmingham, Ala., she started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.