TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Daisa Alexander scored 21 points, but the Auburn women’s basketball team came up just short in a back-and-forth battle at Alabama, falling 70-60 at Coleman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
In a game that saw the lead change hands 18 times, the Tigers (13-13, 4-10 SEC) battled foul trouble much of the day and had trouble getting in offensive rhythm with key players on the bench. Alabama (17-10, 7-7), meanwhile, made 25-of-28 free-throw attempts, had 15 more rebounds than Auburn, and finished with a flourish to earn a split in the season series.
“That’s the game right there, rebounding and putting them on the free-throw line 28 times,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “There’s nothing else you can even look at on the stat sheet, except for free-throw attempts and offensive rebounds. We didn’t rebound, and we were out of rhythm all night offensively.”
Alexander’s 21 points led all scorers. She hit five 3-pointers in the game, the most by any Auburn player this season, and also led the Tigers with four steals. Unique Thompson added 15 points and four rebounds. Jazmine Jones was Auburn’s leading rebounder with five; she also had nine points and a team-best five assists.
Auburn out-shot the Crimson Tide, hitting 22-of-57 attempts (38.6%) to Alabama’s 20-of-53 (37.7%). But Alabama made it to the free-throw line 28 times, making 25, while Auburn was 9-of-12 at the charity stripe. Alabama also had 43 rebounds to Auburn’s 28, including 20 offensive boards that turned into 18 second-chance points for the Tide.
The Tigers forced 19 Alabama turnovers that turned into 21 points, but gave away 15 of their own.
Auburn held Alabama to just one first-quarter field goal but held just a 12-10 lead thanks to the Tide going 8-for-8 at the free-throw line. Alabama then opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run, pulling ahead by as many as 11 points. But Auburn finished the period on a 15-4 run of its own, taking a 30-29 lead into halftime.
The teams traded the led for much of the third quarter, but an Auburn foul with less than a second to go gave Alabama a pair of free throws that turned into a 46-45 lead. Auburn pulled back ahead and led 53-52 with 7:39 to play. But Alabama went on a 10-0 run over the next 3:03 to take a 62-53 lead, and Auburn got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Alabama had four players in double figures, led by Ashley Williams with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Hannah Cook added 14.
Auburn plays its final road game of the regular season at 7 p.m. Thursday at No. 2 Mississippi State.