AUBURN, Ala- In a game with 11 lead changes and 5 ties, Auburn comes out on top 58-54. On Senior Day where it is all about the seniors, Junior Daisa Alexander stole the spotlight, leading all scorers with 19 points.
Auburn recognized its three seniors Erica Sanders, Emari Jones, and Janiah McKay on Sunday February 24th, before the match up in Auburn Arena.
"My seniors are special," coach Terry Williams-Flournoy said. "Any seniors that have been here for four years and play in our system, kudos to them because it's tough."
This game was a battle early. In the first period alone, Auburn forced seven Missouri turnovers while holding the Tigers to just nine points. Auburn however could not find the bottom of the net early as they shot only 28% from the field. They would still claim an early 11-9 lead.
Auburn stood strong in the second quarter to go into the locker room up 26-22. Alexander was the highlight of the first half with 10 points and a steal.
Missouri came out in the second half and swung a big punch. Sophie Cunningham, the Missouri guard, provided five points and two assists in the first five minutes of the second half to help the Tigers gain the lead. They would end up scoring 23 points to finish the third period. Auburn tried to throw back a punch of their own by scoring 12 points in the back and forth battle. If Auburn wanted to snap a three game losing streak to Missouri, they were going to have to overcome a 45-38 lead going into the fourth.
Auburn would hit back-to-back three pointers in the first 1:22 of the fourth period courtesy of Alexander and Howard to cut the Missouri lead to one. Soon after, a Crystal Primm free throw and Unique Thompson layup would help the Tigers from Auburn regain the lead. From there on, there was no looking back for Auburn as they would hold on to win 58-54.
When asked about what she told the team to spark the comeback, Coach Flo said "I said to them, we worked too hard this week...Just keep playing hard."
Sophie Cunningham led Missouri with 19 points.
Unique Thompson was the leading rebounder for Auburn with eight, while Amber Smith led Missouri with 11 of her own.
With the win, Auburn claims its first 20-win regular season under Terri Williams-Flournoy and the first since 2009. Auburn's record improves to 20-7, 8-6 SEC. The loss pushes Missouri to 19-9, 8-6 SEC.
Auburn's next game is Thursday, February 28th in Auburn Arena against South Carolina 6 P.M. CST.