Auburn (14-8, 3-6) fell to Arkansas (17-7, 5-4) in Fayetteville on Saturday evening. The Tigers went to Fayetteville, still looking for their first road conference win. The start was as good as they could have hoped for, but the Razorbacks found their rhythm in the second half to comeback and take down the Tigers.
Auburn jumped on Arkansas early, forcing turnovers and scoring in transition. They held Arkansas to only six points in the first period. The Tigers defense has been the strength of the team all season, and it helped them build an early lead.
Auburn's offense also had a fast start behind star guard Honesty Scott Grayson. She scored 13 points in the first half. Overall, the Tigers shot really well from the field early, shooting 61% in the first period and 48% at halftime.
"I thought we played tough," Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris said. "We knocked down shots in the first half; we were right at 50 percent."
Arkansas would find some offense in the second period, but Auburn still led 34-25 at halftime. They put themselves in a great position to get their first road SEC win heading into the half. The second half, however, was a different story.
Arkansas would come out on fire in the third period—more specifically, guard Taliah Scott. Scott nearly single-handedly took over the game. She scored 17 points on 4-6 shooting from three-point range in the third period. Auburn had no answers for her.
"We started trapping her (in the fourth quarter)," Harris said. "It's hard to trap this team because they have so many that can shoot the 3. They got going in the third quarter. (Scott) was shooting it quick. Most of the time we had a hand up; she just got hot, and there wasn't much we were able to do with her."
Altogether in the period, Arkansas scored 31 points, outscoring Auburn by 20. Despite the huge period from Arkansas, Auburn would not go down without a fight. They clawed back in the fourth and tied the game at 69 with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Ultimately, however, Arkansas would pull away after a three-point play with just over thrity second remaining in the game. Auburn started and finished strong, but the middle periods were the difference.
Auburn's search for its first road conference win continues now, halfway through SEC play. They will now have a week off before another road opportunity next Sunday at Missouri. The game will tip off at 1 p.m. on the SEC Network and the Auburn Sports Network.