NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four players scored in double-figures, and Auburn shot a season-high 51 percent from the field in a 60-40 victory over Georgetown on Friday night at the Challenge in Music City.
The Tigers (3-1) controlled the inside game all night, scoring 36 points in the paint to just 10 for Georgetown (2-2), and the Hoyas were held to 29.2-percent shooting on the night.
“We got 36 points in the paint, so we weren’t just standing out there putting up 3s,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We were taking high-percentage shots. I thought the twins (Jazmine & Jessica Jones) did a good job of picking up the scoring, Unique (Thompson) inside, too. We rebounded the ball well, but more than anything, we got points in the paint. We want to take those high-percentage shots.”
Senior Jessica Jones and freshman Unique Thompson shared the team lead with 12 points each, and sophomore Daisa Alexander and senior Jazmine Jones had 10 points apiece. Jessica Jones was a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor and pulled down four rebounds, Thompson led the Tigers with seven boards, and Alexander had five rebounds on the night.
“When you can get production off the bench, and we had 28 points off the bench, that gives us a chance to be able to rest some people,” Williams-Flournoy said. “When you’re playing three games in a row, you want to be able to rest as many players as you can. By that third game, you want them to still have fresh legs.
Auburn was 26-of-51 (51.0%) from the field, a season-best, and scored 19 points off 20 Georgetown turnovers. Auburn’s bench outscored the Hoyas’ reserves 28-3, and the Tigers out-rebounded Georgetown 37-25.
A flurry in the final 90 seconds of the third quarter put the game out of reach. With Auburn leading by seven, Jessica Jones backed down a defender to beat the shot clock, Lopez banked in a 3-pointer, Jones drew a charge at the other end, Alexander hit a free throw with less than two seconds left, and then Alexander stole the in-bound pass and banked in a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer. After all that, Auburn led 45-30, and Georgetown managed just three points over the first four minutes of the fourth quarter as the Tigers built a 25-point lead, pulling ahead as much as 58-33.
Auburn took a 27-21 halftime lead on the strength of an impressive inside game – 20 of Auburn’s 27 first-half points came in the paint. As such, the Tigers shot 48 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
Mikayla Venson led Georgetown with 19 points, making half of the Hoyas’ field goals on the night. She hit five of their six 3-pointers.
The Tigers play their second game of the Challenge in Music City at 5 p.m. CT Saturday when they take on Northwestern. Brit Bowen will have the radio call beginning at 4:45 p.m. on WQSI 95.9 FM in Auburn and online at AuburnTigers.com.