LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Tra'Cee Tanner scored 23 points, but Auburn fell short on the road at No. 10 Kentucky, dropping a 78-57 decision at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night.
The Tigers (9-7, 0-3) committed a season-high 25 turnovers while forcing Kentucky (14-2, 3-0) into just 12 giveaways, a season-low for an Auburn opponent. Consequently, the Wildcats scored 23 points off turnovers while Auburn had just six.
“It is very hard to win a basketball game when you turn the ball over 25 times," Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Our team knew that if we turned the ball over we would give Kentucky a good chance to win the game, because they convert turnovers into points quickly.”
On multiple occasions in the second half, Auburn cut Kentucky's lead to single digits, getting as close as eight points at 56-48 with just over eight minutes to play. From that point, however, the Tigers connected on just two field goal attemps while committing seven turnovers and missing seven of their final nine shots.
Kentucky led 37-25 at halftime. It was a nine-point game as the final second were ticking down, but UK's Makayla Epps connected on a 3-pointer from the corner just before the horn sounded.
Tanner's 23 points marked her second-best output of the season, behind only her 31-point effort against Grambling on Nov. 17. She also had six rebounds and three blocks. Senior Hasina Muhammad scored 12 points along with six rebounds, five blocks and three assists. Muhammad's five blocks tied a career-high.
Auburn out-rebounded Kentucky 45-35. The Tigers shot 37.3 percent from the field and connected on just one 3-pointer on five attempts. Kentucky was 43.1 percent from the floor and shot 7-of-19 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats had four players in double figures, led by Jennifer O'Neill with 17 points, 15 of which came on 3-pointers. Alexis Jennings and Epps had 12 each.0
Auburn returns home for its second of three straight games against nationally ranked competition as the No. 20 Georgia Lady Bulldogs visit Auburn Arena on Sunday, Jan. 11. Tip is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be televised by SEC Network.