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Tigers drop overtime heartbreaker to No. 24 Virginia Tech
Sophomore Janiah McKay scored a career-high 28 points vs. Virginia Tech Sunday. (Dakota Sumpter photo)
Dec. 18, 2016

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn women's basketball made a stunning fourth-quarter comeback to send its game with No. 24 Virginia Tech to overtime, but fell just short in a 92-87 loss Sunday at Auburn Arena.

The Tigers (8-3) shot a season-high 50.8 percent from the field, scored a season-high 87 points and overcame a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes to force overtime, but the hot-shooting Hokies (11-0) made 12 3-pointers throughout the game and won it at the free-throw line in the extra period.

Sophomore Janiah McKay scored a career-high 28 points -- including seven points in the final 1:08 of regulation -- and got a key steal, a layup and a free throw to tie the game with 10 seconds to play. But she was lost to fouls early in the overtime period, and the Tigers' leading scorer watched the final 4:08 from the bench.

"You can't give up the 3," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We allowed them to have 12 3s. You can't do it. They played hard. We fought hard to get back into the game. We fought hard to put it into overtime. It hurt when (McKay) fouled out. She had 28 points. She was the offense.

"We did our usual things. We forced them into 22 turnovers; they were averaging 11 turnovers a game. And then off of those turnovers, we got 34 points. That's what we do. We continue to always play hard. We shot well from the free-throw line. Honestly, we did everything we needed to do to win the game except defend the 3-point line."

In a back-and-forth game that saw the lead change hands 10 times, Auburn found itself down by as many as 11 midway through the fourth quarter. The Tigers were able to cut that to six with a little more than a minute to go.

Trailing 75-69 with 1:08 to play in regulation, McKay made two free throws to cut it to four. After a Hokie offensive foul, McKay then knocked down a jumper with 30 seconds left to make it a two-point game. Auburn then had four fouls to give to get Tech to the free-throw line -- McKay committed three of them.

After a pair of Hokie free throws pushed the lead back to four, Lewis was fouled and made the first, then after a miss, McKay stole a pass off the defensive rebound under the basket, got the layup to go and was fouled. Her free throw tied the game at 77-all, and the Hokies' last-second attempt missed to send the game to overtime.

Auburn led 81-79 with just over three minutes to play and held a one-point lead at the 1:56 mark, but the Hokies made nine free throws in the extra period to pull away for the win.

Brandy Montgomery scored 20 points, and Katie Frerking added 15. Jessica Jones had a season-high eight points and led Auburn with six rebounds, and Jazmine Jones added a season-high nine.

Virginia Tech outrebounded Auburn 37-26, but the Tigers forced the Hokies into a season-high 22 turnovers; Tech ranked third in the nation for fewest turnovers coming into the game. Auburn's 87 points were its most since scoring 88 against George Mason last season.

Sidney Cook led Virginia Tech with a season-high 23 points; she came into the game 1-for-17 on 3-point attempts this season and made 3-of-4 today. Vanessa Panousis added 20 points, making five 3-pointers, and point guard Chanette Hicks had 18 points and 13 assists.

Auburn heads to New Orleans this week for the Tulane Classic. The Tigers take on Drake at 3 p.m. Wednesday then will face either Tulane or Eastern Washington Thursday.



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