BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Behind a career-high 25 points from Daisa Alexander and clutch free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter, Auburn held off a late Indiana rally for a 65-53 win over the Hoosiers Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall.
The Tigers (5-3) saw a 15-point lead whittled down to just one point early in the fourth quarter, but Auburn’s best free-throw shooting effort of the season saved the day as the Tigers hit 10-of-11 attempts at the line in the final period to seal the victory.
Alexander shattered her previous career-high with 25 points, scoring 12 of those in the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled away late. She was 9-of-14 from the floor and hit three 3-pointers, then knocked down all four of her free-throw attempts. Two of those came on drives to the basket where she was fouled, made the layup and calmly sank the free throw.
Senior Janiah McKay scored 22 points and filled the stat sheet with a team-leading five rebounds, six assists and six steals while playing a career-high 38 minutes. She made six free throws on eight attempts, including 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter.
Auburn shot 48.0 percent from the floor, including a 52.3-percent mark in the second half. The Tigers forced Indiana (4-4) into 23 turnovers, converting those into 25 points. The Hoosiers were 37.5 percent from the floor but kept the game in reach with strong outside shooting as they hit 5-of-10 3-point attempts in the second half.
The Tigers led by as many as 15 early in the third quarter, but the Hoosiers got hot in the second half and cut the lead to just one at 44-43 early in the fourth. Indiana would never regain the lead, though, as Auburn was able to get into the bonus early in the final period and convert on their free-throw opportunities. Alexander scored from all angles with a pair of driving layups, a mid-range jumper, a 3-pointer and four free throws.
Auburn’s trademark pressure defense stood tall through the first 10 minutes, forcing 12 Indiana turnovers in the opening quarter to lead to an 18-4 Tiger advantage. The Tigers would continue to lead at halftime at 31-20 with Indiana’s offense mostly paced by trips to the free-throw line.
Four players scored in double figures for Indiana, led by 16 points from Jaelynn Penn and 12 from Amanda Cahill.
The Tigers return to action Friday night on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Cajundome. Andy Burcham will have the radio call on WTGZ 93.9 FM beginning at 6:45.