Tigers get their First Conference win against Ole Miss
Auburn, Ala. - January 23, 2020
Auburn beats Ole Miss 59-43.
The Tigers and Rebels squared off with both teams looking to gain their first SEC win and place the other in the basement of the SEC.
The Tigers and Rebels found themselves in a defensive showdown going into the half. After a normal first quarter, the Tigers and Rebels would combine to score only six points in the second quarter, Auburn scoring four and Ole Miss scoring two. After ten minutes of nearly scoreless basketball, the Tigers took a 21-20 into halftime. "We knew that we had a scoring drought, but we did not know it was only 4-2," said Unique Thompson. "Coach Flo came in and got us all fired up."
The two teams combined for 21 turnovers in the first half. These turnovers are a result of poor passes by both teams in transition. Despite causing nine turnovers, the Tigers were only able to score four points off turnovers in the first half.
The defensive slugfest would continue into the second half. Scoring droughts were plentiful and both teams would continue to shoot under 40%. The third and fourth quarter would not nearly be as fruitless as the second quarter however.
The Tigers would not have a player score in double digits until 8:54 in the third quarter when Robyn Benton hit her third field goal. Benton seems to have become one of the focal points for the Tigers offense as she attempted the most field goals and scored the most points for the Tigers tonight. "I started off a little slow, but I picked it back up," said Benton. Benton scored 17 for the Tigers tonight.
Brooke Moore would join the double-digit club in the fourth quarter after a three-pointer gave her 10 points. This three-pointer would give the Tigers a 10 point lead with seven minutes left in the fourth. The Tigers defense and rebounding would help the Tigers finish out the fourth quarter strong, at one point going on a 12-0 scoring run. "I thought our defense did a good job of creating points for us," said coach Flournoy. "We had 12 points off of fast breaks, which means we are converting off of live ball turnovers." The Tigers defense also held the Rebels to nine points in the fourth quarter as well as forcing to Rebels to go 0-7 from deep.
The win tonight gave the Tigers their first SEC win of the year. The Tigers still have a lot of tough games ahead of them, but the team should be able to build off of their strong performance tonight.
Auburn has now officially closed out the Gus Malzahn era finishing this COVID-altered year with a 6-5 record, following a 35-19 loss to Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl. The Tigers will now look ahead to next year and the beginning of the Bryan Harsin era on the plains.