AUBURN, Ala. – Coming off the back of a season opening victory against Jacksonville State, the Auburn Tigers returned to the floor in at Neville Arena. Behind a strong performance from Savannah Scott, the Tigers were able to stay undefeated with a 60-54 victory against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
To say it was a slow start for both teams would be an understatement. At the end of the first quarter the score was 11-4 in favor of the visitors.
“We came out flat,” Auburn coach Johnnie Harris said. “After halftime we just battled. It wasn’t a pretty game but the way they bounced back and fought down the stretch, I was really proud of them. We have to start better. I love the way they responded in the second half.”
Whether it be a missed shot, turnover, or anything in between, it seemed it would not go the Tigers way. In the first half Auburn turned the ball over 12 times to the Ragin Cajuns. However, this would not be the most concerning aspect of the game. The Tigers would not be able to shoot the ball anywhere on the court, ending the half shooting 23%.
Despite the slow start, freshman Savannah Scott impressed early on, scoring all the Tigers first quarter points. The dominance of Scott continued throughout the game, as the center finished with a team-high 16 points.
Scott combined with Honestly Scott-Grayson 15 and Sydney Shaw as Tigers in double-digit points. Shaw shot 50% from the field in route to finishing with 10 points, while Scott-Grayson finished with 15 points.
“I work on all these things during practice,” Scott said. “I went out there and did what I do, and I was put in a good position by my guards.”
Taylen Collins made the most noise coming out of halftime. With Auburn making a comeback push, the transfer from Oklahoma State showed out with nine points in the third quarter, which is the seniors highest point total throughout the first two games.
Collins would not slow down there, transitioning the points dominance to rebounding, rounding out the game with 14 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end.
“I struggled a lot the first half,” Collins said. “In the second half I started to relax, I started getting rebounds, that got my momentum going and it started to pick up for me.”
Three pointers continue to be an issue for Auburn, shooting 2-for-13 in the first half before finishing 4-for-20 to close out the game.
Scott-Grayson felt the lack of connecting on the long ball the most out of anyone on the team. Going into the final two minutes of the game, Scott-Grayson would only make one 3-pointer, but a spark would ignite. The fifth year nailed a couple of deep shots to put the Tigers up by five points, even while dealing with an injured foot.
“She’s just a warrior,” Harris said of Scott-Grayson. “She’s always coming up with big shots and I have all the confidence in her.”
Auburn’s starters had to make a statement in the matchup due to lack of bench presence. McKenn Eddings finished with the lone four points off the bench, despite 46 minutes being played from the reserves.
A surprise lack of presence on the floor tonight came from Kaitlyn Duhon. The sophomore, primarily a defensive presence, did not record a steal or point in just nine minutes of action.
Auburn will head to Rutgers this Sunday to face off against Rutgers in its first game away from Neville Arena this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. CT with broadcasting on the Big Ten Network along with the Auburn Sports Network.