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Tigers drop overtime heartbreaker to Alabama
Janiah McKay matched a career-high with 29 points in Thursday's game with Alabama. (Wade Rackley photo)
Feb. 20, 2017

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn sophomore Janiah McKay matched a career-high with 29 points, but an Alabama layup in the final seconds of overtime gave the Crimson Tide a 63-61 win at Auburn Arena Thursday night.

Alabama's Hannah Cook broke a 61-all tie with 5.6 seconds left in overtime, and McKay's driving attempt at the buzzer would not fall to force a second extra period.

In a game that saw the lead change hands 16 times, Auburn gave up a six-point lead in the fourth quarter to an 11-0 Alabama run, then answered with a 7-0 run of its own to take a 53-51 lead. Cook hit a shot-clock beating jumper with 39 seconds left to tie the game, then missed two free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining on the clock to send the game to overtime.

"It was a hard-fought game," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Our kids played extremely hard. Tough loss. We did a very good job turning them over. We knew we could turn them over. We just needed to convert just a little bit more and get some points off those turnovers."

McKay's 29 points matched her effort in the Tigers' win over Tennessee earlier this season. She made 11 field goals, including one 3-pointer, and was 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. She also had a team-leading four steals.

Senior Katie Frerking was Auburn's only other player in double-figures with 16 points, including two big shots that tied the game in the extra period, and led the Tigers with four assists and three blocks. Jazmine Jones had eight rebounds to lead Auburn.

Auburn forced Alabama into 24 turnovers, converting those into 21 points. Both teams shot 33.3 percent from the field, but Alabama made 18-of-23 free throws while Auburn made 8-of-10.

The Tigers trailed by two at halftime, 27-25, but outscored the Tide 18-11 in the third, thanks in large part to 12 points from McKay. She scored the final six points of the quarter -- two fast-break layups off steals and a pair of free throws -- to put the Tigers ahead 43-38 headed to the final period.

Alabama held a 56-36 edge in rebounding and scored 21 points off 20 offensive rebounds. Cook finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Alabama in both categories. The Tide had four players in double figures. Cook led the Tide with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Auburn closes out the 2016-17 home schedule Thursday night as the Tigers host LSU at 6 p.m. It will be Senior Night at Auburn Arena as Khady Dieng, Katie Frerking and Brandy Montgomery, along with manager Tammy Trout, are honored in pregame ceremonies that begin at 5:45 p.m.



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