ATHENS, Ga. – Sophomore Daisa Alexander scored a game-high 22 points, but Auburn faltered in the second half to drop a 60-48 decision at No. 24 Georgia on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Tigers (10-9, 1-6 SEC) led by as many as eight points in the third quarter, but went cold for several stretches that included multiple turnovers, allowing Georgia (17-2, 5-1) to pull ahead and pull away late.
“That third quarter really hurt us,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We came out great, but it’s a game of runs. We made our run, then their run hurt us more. We just didn’t score. Even though they were making their run, we were coming down and getting empty possessions. And we missed a couple of layups. That took the energy out of our defense, and then we didn’t have that defensive pressure that we came out with.”
Alexander’s 22 points marked her second straight game to lead the Tigers offensively, but she was the Tigers’ only player in double figures. She also had a team-leading four steals. Freshman Unique Thompson led the Tigers with 12 rebounds, and Jazmine Jones added nine points and five rebounds.
The Tigers out-rebounded Georgia 37-35, their first time since the Florida game to pull down more boards against an SEC opponent. But Auburn shot 32.7 percent for the game compared to Georgia’s 40.8 percent and made just 1-of-10 3-pointers on the day. Auburn committed 24 turnovers while forcing Georgia into 20; the Tigers scored 19 points off UGA’s turnovers.
Auburn led 25-22 after an ugly first half that saw the teams combine for 29 turnovers. The Tigers took advantage, scoring 13 points off 14 Georgia giveaways. Thompson had 10 rebounds in the opening half, and Alexander had 11 points. Both had three steals as well.
The Tigers jumped out to an eight-point lead at 31-23 less than two minutes into the third quarter, but Georgia chipped away, eventually moving back ahead on a Que Morrison 3-pointer with 1:24 to play to make it 38-35. That would turn into a 9-0 Georgia run to end the quarter and give the Bulldogs a 42-35 lead.
Auburn would get as close as seven points late in the fourth quarter, but Georgia pulled away at the free-throw line late to secure the victory.
Mackenzie Engram led Georgia with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Taja Cole added 10 points and seven boards.
After an off week in SEC play, the Tigers return to action Sunday, Jan. 28, against rival Alabama at Auburn Arena. Game time is 4 p.m. CT, and tickets remain available at AUBTix.com.