STARKVILLE, Miss. -- -- Janiah McKay scored 25 points, but the Auburn women's basketball team came up short in an 82-61 loss to No. 2 Mississippi State on Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Tigers (13-14, 4-11 SEC) fought valiantly against the nation's second-ranked team, making one more field goal than MSU (29-0, 15-0). But the Bulldogs made 21-of-23 free-throw attempts and knocked down nine 3-pointers to fend off the Tigers.
"Everything we told them about playing today was to compete," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "If we didn't compete, we weren't going to give ourselves a chance to win. There were times in this game tonight when it got a little close, and we competed. We played hard.
"Mississippi State is really good. They're undefeated, and we knew it was going to be tough to come in here. But I thought we did some really good things. Janiah attacked the basket and shot the ball well, and Unique (Thompson) fought in there. She was going up against 6-7 (Teaira McCowan), that was tough. But she continued to battle and got a double-double."
McKay's 25-point night marked her sixth game of the season with 25 or more. She had 18 in the first half and was the key to Auburn's offense on a night when the Tigers shot 45 percent from the field. She also had all four of Auburn's assists on the night.
Thompson tied the Auburn freshman record with her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. She matches Le'Coe Willingham's double-double total from her freshman season. Daisa Alexander added 14 points.
Mississippi State shot 47.3 percent for the game but was 9-of-22 (40.9%) from 3-point range while the Tigers made just two treys on the night. The Bulldogs were also send to the free-throw line 23 times, making 21. MSU had 38 rebounds to Auburn's 29, but Auburn forced MSU into 16 turnovers, one more than the Tigers' 15.
State led by as many as 19 in the second quarter before Auburn used a 10-2 run in the final two-plus minutes to cut the deficit to 11 in the closing seconds. A Victoria Vivians jumper in the paint as time expired put MSU back up by 13 at the half, 42-29.
Auburn cut the deficit to as few as nine points early in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs went on a pair of 7-0 runs in the period to put the game out of reach.
Three Bulldogs scored 16 points; McCowan also added 18 rebounds.
The Tigers close out the regular season at 1 p.m. Sunday as Ole Miss visits Auburn Arena. It will be Senior Day as Auburn's five seniors -- Bria Johnson, Jazmine Jones, Jessica Jones, Tiffany Lewis and Sira Toure -- as well as senior manager Darryl Cotton are honored in a postgame ceremony.