The Auburn Tigers (5-3) defeated the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (3-4) at Auburn Arena on Sunday afternoon 77-66. The Tigers picked up a key win for the SEC in the SEC/Big12 Challenge happening around women’s college basketball, with the win clinching the challenge win for the Southeastern Conference.
Throughout the first quarter, the game was more of a track meet, with both teams racing up and down the floor. The fast pace of play led to a high scoring quarter, with the Tigers taking a 21-16 lead to end the quarter.
Auburn continued to shoot the ball well to start the second quarter, making three straight baskets to extend its lead to 11 halfway through the quarter.
But the Cowgirls found their groove, going on a 7-0 run after the media timeout to cut the deficit to six. The back and forth play continued, with Auburn’s Honesty Scott-Grayson scoring a finger-roll layup to end the half to give the Tigers a 40-31 lead going into the locker room.
“We knew this team was going to go on runs,” said Tigers head coach Johnnie Harris. “We knew we would have to respond to those runs and be ready for it.”
Coming into the second half, coach Johnnie Harris and the Tigers looked to continue their good shooting performance and keep on track the 67% mark they had in the first half.
Auburn continued to shoot the ball well, but six turnovers in the quarter slowed the offense down tremendously. Oklahoma State scored off of many of those turnovers, and the Cowgirls were able to stay within six points and cut the lead to 56-50 heading into the fourth.
The Cowgirls battled throughout the quarter, and used a key 6-0 run to cut the Auburn lead to three points at the final media timeout. In the end though, the Tigers stepped up defensively and made critical stops, which led to Scott-Grayson and Aicha Coulibaly taking over on the offensive end of the floor. Scott-Grayson ended the day with 22 points and Coulibaly led the team with 25.
Auburn pulled away in the final minutes, with key points from Sania Wells and Coulibaly from the charity stripe to seal the 77-66 victory. The Tigers outscored the Cowgirls 44-28 in the paint, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
“The team feels great right now,” said Sania Wells, going into a short break. “We love the feeling of winning and we are going to do everything we can to keep getting that feeling.”
For Oklahoma State, the Cowgirls were led in scoring by Lauren Fields with 20, and had two more players also score in double figures as Taylen Collins had 11 and Macie James with 10.
The Cowgirls fall to 3-4 on the season. They will head back home and host Southern on Dec. 15.
Auburn improves to 5-3 on the season with four more non-conference games left. The Tigers host New Orleans on Dec. 12 before traveling to Belmont on Dec. 15. Auburn also now on a three game winning streak.
For more Auburn Women’s Basketball coverage, visit AuburnTigers.com and weglfm.com.