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Elaina Eichorn / AU Athletics
Elaina Eichorn / AU Athletics

Pair of veterans lead Auburn to victory over Little Rock

AUBURN, Ala. – The Tigers took to the floor without head coach Johnnie Harris due to illness for the second time this season. Associate head coach Damitria Buchanan would step in once again to steer the Tigers to yet another victory in a 70-48 win against the Little Rock Trojans after losing the same matchup a year ago.

“I would say our grit and determination to go out there and really just not get beat by them again. Nobody really wanted that, and we wanted to pay hard for Coach D, and especially Coach J, so I feel like we came out there with a different mindset than last year and our focus was to get the job done and that’s what we did,” Auburn guard Honesty Scott-Grayson said. 

Scott-Grayson came out with purpose in the first quarter notching eight points off the back of two three-pointers in only five minutes of action. She would go on to add four more points to her total along with a big block that would find its way into the crowd before the break. 

Despite a solid performance on offense through two quarters, the Tiger would let Little Rock stay in it due to a plethora of fouls, which ultimately led the Trojans to have 17 shots from the free throw line in the second quarter. 

Auburn would tighten up the fouling woes after the break. Little Rock would not see the free throw line in the third quarter and only twice in the fourth quarter.

“We had to be disciple and stop putting them at the line so much,” Buchanan said. “For them to be able to come out in the second half and not put them on the free throw line in the third quarter and then we only put them on the free throw line twice in the fourth quarter just shows they listened and then executed.”

The second half saw the duo of Scott-Grayson and Romi Levy combine for 15 of Auburn’s 33 total points. Scott-Grayson would add on 12 more points from the first quarter to finish with a team-high 20 points off 8-11 shooting. The senior is coming into her own, as she has scored 20 or more points in two of the past three games, while being the leading scorer for the Tigers in all of those games.  

“Just having confidence in my shot and just trusting that my teammates would find me whenever they could,” Scott-Grayson credited to her success. 

Levy would leave her mark on the game in a big way with her second career double-double in only three quarters, before going on to finish with 18 points and 13 rebounds. 

“Yesterday I told coach J I’m going to get a double-double tomorrow,” Levy joked.

After working her way back from a season ending injury suffered last year the Israel native has seen her minutes gradually rise throughout the year. She would go on to log a team high 31 minutes in a performance that did not see her skip a beat.  

“It was confidence,” Levy said. “I know that once I crash the boards all the other stuff was going to come.”

It looks like Levy could be officially back and to full strength which is a welcoming sight for all Auburn fans. The return of Levy to her normal self will add on to an already deep squad for the coaching squad to work with.

Auburn will be back at Neville Arena this Saturday to take on UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on SECN+.

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