AUBURN, Ala. -- Freshman Janiah McKay scored a team-best 16 points, but a big second quarter helped lead Virginia to a 69-52 win over Auburn in women's basketball action Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers (2-1) committed a season-high 20 turnovers, leading to 24 Virginia points. The offensive difference for Virginia (3-0), meanwhile, came at the free-throw line where the Cavaliers were 20-of-24 (83.3%) while Auburn was just 8-of-15 (53.3%).
"We definitely can’t turn the ball over 20 times," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We turned the ball over 20 times and Virginia scored 24 points off of our turnovers. That right there is one of the biggest points of the game that we have to be better at.”
McKay's 16 points gave her three straight games in double-figures to open her Auburn career. She is averaging 16.7 points through three games. Katie Frerking and Brandy Montgomery had eight points apiece, and Jazmine Jones was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor, scoring seven points.
Tra'Cee Tanner, on the bench with foul trouble through most of the first half, finished with six points and a game-high nine rebounds. Tanner and Frerking also had two blocks apiece, and Tanner and Jones had a pair of steals.
The teams were nearly even from the floor - Auburn at 34.4 percent, Virginia at 34.9 - and Auburn controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Cavaliers 43-39. Virginia, however, had 13 assists and 13 turnovers while Auburn's ratio was five assists to 20 turnovers - 14 of those turnovers in the first half.
A tight first quarter saw Virginia take the lead at the buzzer on a running 3-pointer by Faith Randolph to give UVA a 13-10 lead. From there, it was all Virginia as they outscored Auburn 28-12 in the second quarter to take a 41-22 halftime lead.
Auburn came out hot in the third quarter, opening the period on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 11 points at 41-30. The Tigers would pull as close as nine points at 47-38 on a Jonika Garvin jumper with 1:18 to play in the third. But Virginia would score nine points over the final 1:06 of the quarter to take a 56-38 lead into the final 10 minutes. Auburn outscored the Cavaliers in the second half and held them to 26.5 percent shooting, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Aliyah Huland El scored 20 points off the bench to lead Virginia. Faith Randolph added 15 and Mikayla Venson had 14.
The Tigers are back in action Sunday, Nov. 22, as they travel to Savannah, Ga., to face Savannah State. Tip is set for 3 p.m. CT at Tiger Arena on the SSU campus.