LAFAYETTE, La. – Freshman Unique Thompson scored a career-high 29 points along with 12 rebounds, and Auburn held off a scrappy Louisiana-Lafayette team for a 70-60 win at the Cajundome Friday night.
The Tigers (6-3) saw the Ragin’ Cajuns (3-6) get hot from outside early, and turnovers were not as easy to come by as usual, but a scoring burst from Thompson in the fourth quarter helped Auburn pull away late.
“We knew coming in this would be a tough game,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “Getting 24 points in the fourth quarter, that was awesome. And most of that came from Unique Thompson. We wanted to get the ball inside, we wanted to attack the basket.”
Thompson’s 29 points and 12 rebounds were her second double-double of the season. She had 15 points in the fourth quarter alone. For the night, she was 11-of-13 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Nine of her 12 rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Auburn shot a season-high 51.9% from the field, including 61.5% in the fourth quarter. The Tigers had 34 points in the paint to ULL’s 20, and 15 second-chance points off 10 offensive rebounds.
Leading by just four headed to the final period, Thompson took over, scoring 11 straight points at one point, boosting the Tigers’ lead to double-digits for the first time. McKay and Alexander added late free throws once the Cajuns started fouling, and that clinched the victory for the Tigers.
On a freezing cold night both inside and outside the Cajundome, both teams were red-hot from the field in the early going. ULL shot 67% in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers, en route to a 19-16 lead after 10 minutes. Auburn got similarly hot in the second quarter, shooting 58.3% to take a 34-30 halftime lead.
Malachi Williams led ULL with 17 points, and Kendra Howard added 12 off the bench. The Cajuns hit eight 3-pointers on the night, a season-high, and shot 48.9% from the field.
The Tigers face a quick turnaround, traveling back to Auburn tonight in preparation for Saturday’s game vs. Southern. Game time is 6:30 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena; the game is part of a doubleheader with the Auburn men’s team.