AUBURN, Ala. – A 30-point fourth quarter helped Auburn overcome a slow start, and freshman Unique Thompson recorded her second straight double-double as the Tigers defeated Southern 65-47 on Saturday night at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers (7-3) picked up their fourth-straight win on the strength of outscoring Southern 30-8 in the fourth quarter and 44-19 in the second half. Auburn trailed by four at the end of the third quarter, but a layup and free throw from senior Jazmine Jones with 8:54 to play gave the Tigers a 40-39 lead that they would never relinquish.
“Needless to say, we woke up in the fourth quarter,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “Southern is a good team as far as playing aggressive and coming at you, and we knew about it. We knew it was going to be an ugly game with both teams forcing a lot of turnovers. It kind of came down to which team could handle the pressure and score, which we finally did during the fourth quarter.”
Thompson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and second in as many nights after a 29-point, 12-rebound performance on Friday night at Louisiana-Lafayette. She’s the first Auburn player with double-doubles in consecutive games since Katie Frerking did so against East Carolina and Ball State last season.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Tigers. Janiah McKay posted a 14-point night and Daisa Alexander and Jazmine Jones contributed 11 points each. Jones and Alexander each had four steals on the night as well. Jessica Jones had seven rebounds, and McKay led Auburn with seven assists.
The Tigers shot 45.8 percent from the field but were lights-out in the fourth quarter with the majority of the scoring coming in the paint. Auburn shot 63.6 percent (14-of-22) in the final period and 59.3 percent (19-of-32) in the second half. Of Auburn’s 30 fourth-quarter points, 22 came in the paint.
The closing period was Auburn’s second 30-point quarter of the season; Auburn also had 30 in the second quarter against Louisiana Tech.
Auburn pulled down 37 rebounds to Southern’s 28 and forced the Jaguars into 26 turnovers – 11 of those in the fourth quarter. Auburn, meanwhile, had 14 first-half turnovers but just four in the second half.
Southern (1-4) took advantage of Auburn’s miscues in the first half to build a 28-21 halftime advantage. The Jaguars would lead 39-35 heading into the fourth quarter, but Auburn started the period on a 13-0 run to take a 48-39 lead. Southern would get no closer than six points the rest of the way. Thompson had 10 of her 18 points in the final period, hitting 5-of-7 shots from the floor in the closing quarter.
The Tigers will now have a 10-day break for final exams before returning to action on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at home against Southeastern Louisiana. Game time is 6 p.m. at Auburn Arena.