NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Three Tigers scored in double figures, but Auburn's women's basketball season came to an end Thursday with a 57-47 loss to No. 18 Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament second round.
Auburn (13-18) saw a four-game winning streak snapped, but not without a fight. The Tigers trailed by just four at the half, thanks to an 8-0 run over the last three minutes of the first period. But the Aggies (23-8) pulled away in the second half and played tough defense to prevent an Auburn comeback.
"It was a tough game for our ladies, but I thought we continued to fight through," Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said."We've always had tough games with Texas A&M, they've usually beaten us pretty bad. For us to have a 10-point basketball game, for our ladies to continue to fight, that says a lot about our team.
"I'm very proud of this team.I just told them that. I've told anyone that have asked that same question. It was tough.The losing streak was tough.They could have easily just said, 'Forget it, the season is over with, we're done.'They decided to turn it around themselves.They decided to turn around and work a little bit harder, and that's what made that turn."
Sophomore Katie Frerking led Auburn with her first career double-double, scoring 13 points and matching a career-high with 10 rebounds. Junior Tra'Cee Tanner tied for the game-high with 14 points and just missed her sixth double-double of the season as she had nine rebounds. Sophomore Brandy Montgomery contributed 13 points to the effort.
Auburn shot 36.7 percent from the field (22-of-60) but struggled from outside, connecting on just 1-of-13 3-point tries. The Tigers continued to work the ball inside with 36 of Auburn's 47 points coming in the paint. Auburn struggled to get to the line, though, attempting just six free throws in the game. The Aggies, meanwhile, were 9-of-15 at the line and shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field.
The Aggies, taller at almost every position, only had four more rebounds than the Tigers (39-35), and the teams were even with eight second-chance points each. Auburn forced Texas A&M into 16 turnovers, converting those into 12 points.
Auburn got as close as three points early in the second half after a Frerking 3-pointer and a Tanner layup cut the lead to 30-27. From that point, though, Texas A&M would go on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 13-point lead at 42-29. A Frerking jumper with 1:48 to play got it back to a nine-point game, but the Tigers could get no closer.
Montgomery finished the season as Auburn's leading scorer with 380 points (12.3/game). Tanner pulled down 190 rebounds to lead the team with 6.1 per game, and freshman Neydja Petithomme was the team's assist leader with 98 (3.2/game).