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Monday, Oct 2, 2023 | Latest Print Edition

Auburn drops road game against rival Alabama

<p>Auburn forward Kharyssa Richardson (33) defends against the Gators in a match-up in Neville Arena on Jan 30, 2023.&nbsp;</p>

Auburn forward Kharyssa Richardson (33) defends against the Gators in a match-up in Neville Arena on Jan 30, 2023. 

On the road for the duo's second matchup of the season, Auburn women’s basketball lost to its in state rival Alabama 69-46. This puts the Tigers at 13-11 overall, and 3-9 in SEC play. 

After sitting out against South Carolina on Thursday, junior Aicha Coulibaly recorded her fourth double-double of the season in the fourth quarter of the game. She finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

Offensively, the Tigers struggled to find their groove, shooting 27.4% from the field, 0-of-16 from behind the three point line and finding 30 of their points in the paint. In comparison, Alabama ended the game shooting a solid 50% from the field with 42 points in the paint. 

Despite Auburn’s offensive struggles, freshman Kharyssa Richardson led the team, putting up a career high 15 points and pulling down eight rebounds. 

On the defensive end the Tigers were aggressive, forcing 21 Alabama turnovers. The Tigers also finished the game with 10 steals, led by redshirt senior Honesty Scott-Grayson with three. 

As the first quarter went underway, both teams struggled to find some offense. Alabama’s leading scorer, Brittany Davis, opened the scoring with a layup three minutes in. Davis finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds. The quarter ended with the Tigers in a three point deficit. 

Three minutes into the second quarter, Scott-Grayson gave Auburn its first lead, 16-15, with the help of a 6-0 run led by Coulibaly. The lead was short lived as the Tide quickly responded with a three-point jumper to steal it back. Duhon answered with a jumper to tie the score, but Auburn was unable to make another field goal for the rest of the quarter, finishing the half down by 10, 31-21. 

As the second half began, Auburn still could not find its offense, missing its first six shots and down 38-21 four minutes into the third quarter. Senior Sania Wells was able to end the drought five minutes into the quarter with a two-point jumper; however, Alabama had already taken a lead that Auburn could never recover from. 

With a score of 52-34 heading into the fourth, the Tigers attempted to fight their way back with the help of Wells and Richardson, who put up four points each in the quarter; yet, it was not enough and Alabama went on to take the 23 point win. 

“Just disappointed,” said head coach Johnnie Harris. “This was the first time I felt like we really went away from our game plan. Our game plan was to throw it inside, we had post players open, and we couldn’t get the ball inside. Just really disappointed in our effort tonight.”

Auburn is back in Neville Arena on Thursday, Feb. 16 to host Texas A&M for the annual Play4Kay game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT. 

Alexa Gardner | Sports Writer

Alexa Gardner is a sophomore at Auburn, majoring in exercise science. From Birmingham, Ala., she started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.

Twitter: @alexagardner_

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