By Scott Scroggins
AUBURN, Ala. – Right now, the Auburn’s women’s basketball team is concentrating on finishing the semester strong during final exams, but the Tigers had to pass one final test on the court last Saturday.
Four Tigers scored in double figures as Auburn downed Southern 65-47 for its fourth straight win. It is the Tigers’ longest winning streak since starting last season 5-0.
Tigers dominate the fourth quarter
For the second consecutive night, Auburn used a strong fourth quarter to secure a win. The Tigers trailed Southern 39-35 entering the final period, but outscored the Jaguars 30-8 over the final 10 minutes.
Auburn opened the final frame on a 13-0 run, highlighted by Jazmine Jones’ 3-point play that gave the Tigers their first lead of the second half at 40-39 and steals and layups by Daisa Alexander on consecutive plays, to open up a 48-39 lead that the Auburn would never relinquish.
Auburn has a plus-51 scoring margin in the fourth quarter this season compared to a plus-42 margin in the first three quarters combined.
Unique Thompson named SEC Freshman of the Week...Again
After recording back-to-back double-doubles over the weekend, Unique Thompson was named SEC Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday. The Theodore, Ala., native averaged 23.5 points and 11.0 rebounds and was 20-of-26 from the floor in wins over UL- Lafayette and Southern.
Thompson finished the game against Southern with 18 points and 10 rebounds a night after putting up 29 points and 12 rebounds at UL-Lafayette. Thompson did her best work in the fourth quarter over the weekend combining to score 25 points in the final period in the two contests.
“Unique was getting the ball inside and she kept throwing the ball back out,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “What she didn’t understand was she had to go to the baseline side. The help was coming from the middle, so she couldn’t go to the middle, but once she figured it out and went to the baseline side, she was hard to guard.”
It was the second Freshman of the Week honor for Thompson, who was also honored on Nov. 21.
Defense is the name of the game for the Tigers
Auburn forced Southern into 26 turnovers, including 11 in the decisive fourth quarter, and scored 25 points off the Jaguars’ turnovers. The Tigers have forced at least 20 turnovers in all 10 games this season.
For the season, Auburn is fourth nationally recording 14.7 steals and seventh in the nation forcing 24.3 turnovers per game, which also leads all Power 5 teams. The Tigers are sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 52.4 points per game.
After a 10-day break for final exams, the Tigers will return to action Dec. 19 vs. Southeastern Louisiana at Auburn Arena at 6 p.m.
“We need it,” Williams-Flournoy said about getting 10 days off. “We look at their finals. When are good days to practice? We’ll make sure we get enough days off, because at this point of the season, the next time (for a break) is at Christmas break, so right now you have this break to give them a break, and we need it. We’ve got little nagging injuries that our girls have, and this is a good break for them to get healthy.”