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Late surge gives Auburn 54-49 win over LSU
Feb. 23, 2017

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn finished the game on an 11-1 run over the final 90 seconds, pulling off a come-from-behind 54-49 win over LSU Thursday night in SEC women's basketball action at Auburn Arena.

On a night when shots simply would not fall for Auburn, the Tigers (16-13, 6-9 SEC) found a way to win, getting key stops, forcing turnovers, taking charges and sinking free throws down the stretch to snap a six-game losing streak.

"I don't know how many times we say about how hard that our team plays," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, "because they play extremely hard. We've been playing extremely hard, and we haven't been getting the 'W.' So, if you think this game means a lot, you're absolutely right. It means a lot. And they worked extremely hard, and they kept fighting because we were down. With a minute or so left, we were down. Anybody else would've packed it in, they just continued to fight."

Brandy Montgomery led Auburn with 15 points on her Senior Night. The other two seniors, Katie Frerking and Khady Dieng, shared the team lead with six rebounds; Frerking also had 10 points. Sophomore Janiah McKay added 14 points to give Auburn three players in double-figures.

Auburn trailed 48-43 with 1:29 to play in the game. The comeback started with a pair of free throw from McKay to cut the lead to two, then she drove to the basket for a layup to make it a one-point game with 49 seconds left.

Just 16 seconds later, a steal from Erica Sanders led to a breakaway layup for Jessica Jones, giving Auburn its first lead since late in the third quarter, 49-48. LSU tied it at the free-throw line as Jones fouled out before any time ran off the clock. But LSU committed another foul to send Frerking to the line, where she made one to put Auburn back ahead 50-49.

At the other end, Jazmine Jones drew a charge to give Auburn the ball back, and Frerking and Montgomery each made two free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.

Auburn shot just 29 percent for the game (19-of-65), but made two more field goals than LSU (17-10, 7-8 SEC), who was 17-of-36 (38.6%) from the field. But Auburn forced LSU into 29 turnovers -- the second-most ever by an SEC opponent against Auburn -- converting those into 28 points.

"There were just certain things that we had to do to get wins, and it wasn't making shots," Williams-Flournoy said. "We weren't getting the 50/50 balls, the loose balls. We weren't making hustle plays. We weren't getting the stops that we needed. Jazmine Jones came up with an unbelievable charge for us. Those type of plays, we hadn't been doing that, and that's what wins games for us. We've never been a great shooting team, so we could never live and die by the shot. It was always our defensive effort and our hustle plays that got wins for us."

Auburn also pulled down 15 offensive rebounds, turning those into six points. Auburn also made five 3-pointers in the game against just one for LSU, and Auburn was 11-of-14 at the free-throw line, including 9-of-10 in the fourth quarter.

Auburn led 26-24 at halftime after Emari Jones dropped in a layup at the buzzer. The third quarter was an offensive struggle for both teams, but LSU pulled ahead 33-32 after outscoring Auburn 9-6 in the period.

Raigyne Moncrief led LSU with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Alexis Hyder and Jasmine Rhodes had nine points each.

With tonight's win, Auburn assures itself of avoiding the first day of the SEC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Greenville, S.C. The Tigers are currently in ninth place and can finish no lower than 10th.

Auburn closes out the regular season Sunday at Arkansas. Game time is 2 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena with the broadcast on SEC Network.



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