Auburn, Ala — It was a disappointing night in Neville Arena for Auburn, as the California Golden Bears defeated the Tigers with a final score of 67-53.
Cal came ready to play, and it showed as the Golden Bears led for every moment of the game after the first 2:41 of the first quarter. The dominate performance showed how the entire game was controlled by Cal, especially their starting five.
With the game being controlled mostly by Cal, Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris’ message to the team after this loss is “We have to be tougher,” and that is a message that the Tigers have have, especially when conference play starts.
Cal’s starting five had 65 of Cal’s 67 points which shows that they have a talented starting five, but not anyone on the bench who can come in. Auburn’s starting five of Bostic, Collins, Eddings, Scott, and Shaw had 24 of Auburn’s 53 points, which is less than half of its total points.
That’s the story of the game was the fact that Cal’s starting five dominated Auburn’s starting five, and one of the reasons the difference in the score was not higher was the fact that Auburn’s bench came in a performed at a very high level.
For Auburn, their star of the night was No. 23 Honesty Scott-Grayson who scored a total of 18 points for Auburn, which was a third of their total points, shooting 6-16 from the field, 1-4 from three, and 5-7 from the line. Scott-Grayson was certainly a star tonight and helped to keep the score closer than it felt.
“She came in, she was determined, she had the same determination in her that she had last game, and I thought she tried to put us on her back as much as she could," Harris said on Scott-Grayson.
Coach Harris’ assessment of Scott-Grayson is spot-on; she was a spark of light and energy for Auburn, and most definitely did her best to keep the score within a reasonable margin so that Auburn could have a potential chance to get back in the game.
On the other side of the ball, Cal's Marta Suarez had what will most likely be her best game of the season, shooting 9-19 from the field, 5-9 from the three, and 4-4 from the line. Combined Suarez scored a total of 27 points, which was 40% of Cal’s total points, and was an unstoppable force for Auburn’s defense.
“She’s a big physical player that’s really skilled, and she’s a really good scorer. So, I just didn’t think we did a good job of guarding her," Harris said on Suarez.
Overall, tonight’s game felt as if it was a matchup between Cal’s starting lineup and Auburn’s bench with the stars being Suarez for Cal and Scott-Grayson for Auburn, with the game ultimately ending in a Cal victory.
Despite Auburn losing to Cal, they have a quick turnaround, as they head to the home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Orlando, Florida to face off against the UCF Golden Knights on Monday, November 20 at 6:00 pm CT, hopefully the magic of Disney World can help them win on Monday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and the Auburn Sports Network.