AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn fought to the last minute with No. 11 Texas A&M but came up just short in a 57-49 loss Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
In a game that featured eight ties and six lead changes, mostly in the third quarter, the Tigers (18-10, 8-7 SEC) went cold in the final minutes while Texas A&M (21-7, 11-4) knocked down their free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away for the eight-point win.
"We've just got to take care of the ball at the end of the game," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "In the fourth quarter we didn’t do a very good job of taking care of the basketball."
A season-high crowd of 3,651 was on hand for the regular-season finale at Auburn Arena, the fifth-largest women's crowd since the arena opened in 2010.
"It’s been absolutely wonderful," Williams-Flournoy said of the fan support this season. "I think they’ve really bought into us making our move and being a better basketball team, and coming out to support us. Once again, not only do we understand how important this game was, but the fans knew how important this game was and wanted to come out and cheer us on.”
Auburn led by as many as eight in the second quarter, but saw that lead shrink to four at the half as the Aggies made two late buckets to make it 27-23. After the teams traded blows throughout most of the third quarter, A&M tied it up at 37-all with 3:03 to play. The score was still tied at 41-41 in the final seconds, but A&M's Jordan Jones drove the length of the floor after a blocked shot at the other end to give the Aggies a 43-41 lead at the third-quarter buzzer.
The Tigers pulled back ahead early in the fourth quarter at 45-43, but were able to score just four points the rest of the way while turning the ball over six times in the final 10 minutes. Texas A&M made just three field goals in the final quarter but was 8-of-10 at the free-throw line to clinch the victory.
Brandy Montgomery led the Tigers with 13 points while Jazmine Jones added nine and Tra'Cee Tanner had six. Tanner was the Tigers' leading rebounder with seven, and Katie Frerking finished with six points, five steals, three assists and three rebounds.
Auburn shot 34.4 percent for the game and was just 1-of-13 from 3-point range. The Tigers did not attempt a free throw in the second half after making 4-of-10 attempts in the first. Texas A&M shot 46.0 percent, including a 60-percent third quarter, and was 11-of-17 at the free-throw line.
The Tigers forced A&M into 20 turnovers, turning those into 14 points. Texas A&M scored the majority of its points in the paint with 32.
Courtney Walker and Khaalia Hillsman shared the team lead for Texas A&M with a game-high 16 points.
Auburn closes out the 2015-16 regular season Sunday as the Tigers travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face the Florida Gators. Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT at the O'Connell Center with the broadcast on SEC Network + and WINGS 94.3 FM.