GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico -- Auburn battled back from a 12-point deficit and used a smothering defense in the second half to hold off Boise State, 55-53, on Friday night at the San Juan Shootout.
Senior Tra'Cee Tanner scored her 1,000th career point for the Tigers (4-1) and picked up her second double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Auburn in both categories.
But the Auburn defense was the story of the game as the Tigers forced BSU into 27 turnovers - 16 of them in the second half - leading to 28 points. Auburn also took advantage of second chances, pulling down 18 offensive rebounds and converting those into 19 second-chance points.
A Tanner layup with 1:26 to play gave the Tigers a 54-51 lead, but the Broncos (2-2) answered with a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to one point. Trying to run the clock out, the Tigers missed a pair of shots in the final minute but pulled down two key offensive rebounds, forcing Boise to commit three fouls in five seconds to get the Tigers into the bonus. Katie Frerking hit one of two attempts with :15.3 to play to give Auburn a 55-53 lead.
After Boise called its final timeout to advance the ball to the frontcourt, Auburn once again used a suffocating defense to keep the Broncos from running a play, forcing them to settle for a desperation heave that fell short as time expired.
Offensively, Tanner's 17 points led the night for Auburn while Frerking had 11 and Montgomery added 10. Frerking also pulled down a season-high eight rebounds.
After a cold first half, the Tigers shot 44.1 percent in the second half and held the Broncos to a 37.5-percent clip in the final 20 minutes. The biggest chunk of Boise's offense came from guard Brooke Pahukoa, who hit five 3-pointers en route to a 21-point night.
Boise State (2-2) jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter and led by 10 after the first 10 minutes of play. Auburn cut into that lead in the second period, getting as close as two points before the Broncos took a 27-23 lead into halftime.
Auburn opened the second half on a 12-2 run to turn the four-point deficit into a six-point lead. Tanner scored the first six points of the third period to tie the game at 29-29, then Dieng had a steal in the backcourt and drove the length of the floor for a layup to give Auburn its first lead at 31-29. A pair of Frerking jumpers increased the Auburn advantage to 35-29 with 4:25 to play in the third.
After Tanner hit the 1,000-point mark on a free throw with 39.3 left in the half, Boise regained the lead at the end of three, 39-38, with a running jumper in the paint as time expired. But the Tigers pushed back ahead early in the fourth, taking a five-point lead at 48-43 on a Montgomery layup with 7:24 left.
The Tigers wrap up their trip to Puerto Rico as they face Minnesota at 6 p.m. CT Saturday with the live radio broadcast airing on WANI 1400 AM/98.7 FM. The Gophers defeated Stetson 72-69 in Saturday's earlier game.