Auburn Late Rally Results In Win Over LSU
Sr. Assoc. Communications Director
AUBURN, Ala. --- The LSU women’s basketball team saw a seven-point lead slip away late in the fourth quarter as Auburn rallied in the final three minutes for a 54-49 win over LSU here at Auburn Arena Thursday evening.
LSU fell to 18-10 overall; 7-8 in the SEC, while Auburn improved to 16-13 on the year and 6-9 in league action.
“We were not in sync in that third quarter,” said LSU coach Nikki Fargas. “Auburn was struggling too and that was a chance for us to put some point on the board, but we did a poor job of taking care of the basketball and we did not handle their pressure. I give a lot of credit to Auburn for not quitting. They continued to fight, they continued to get after us defensively and we didn’t do what we needed to do to win on the road.”
Junior Raigyne Moncrief registered her third double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-tying 13 rebounds. She was the only Lady Tiger to score in double figures and scored nine of her 11 points in the second half. She also blocked a career-tying three shots and grabbed two steals.
Alexis Hyder and Jasmine Rhodes each contributed nine points while Ayana Mitchell and Chloe Jackson each pulled down seven rebounds. For the second-straight game, LSU dominated the boards and had a 40-34 advantage tonight. Thirty-one of LSU’s rebounds were defensive boards.
LSU and Auburn were equally matched defensively coming into the game, and AU forced the Lady Tigers to turn the ball over a season-high 29 times. Auburn scored 28 points off the turnovers and LSU managed 17 points off 18 Auburn miscues.
Brandy Montgomery and Janiah McKay led Auburn with 15 points and 14 points, respectively. Katie Frerking also scored in double figures with 10 points. Auburn only shot 29 percent from the field (19-65) while LSU shot 38 percent (17-44). Auburn had five three-pointers, and LSU had just one by Rina Hill.
Auburn took a 26-24 lead into the locker room at the half as both teams shot 34 percent from the field. Auburn held the advantage primarily from four 3-pointers as LSU had a 20-14 advantage on the boards. Moncrief was held to just two points in the first half, but she did have eight of her 13 rebounds early in the game. At the half, Moncrief also had three blocked shots and two steals. Mitchell and Hill carried the offense early with six and five points, respectively.
Neither team shot particularly well in the third quarter. At the first media timeout with 4:53 left in the third, the teams were a combined 1-of-15 from the field. Auburn missed its first 12 field goal attempts within that 5:07 timeframe. Auburn missed another shot attempt before converting its first attempt with 3:58 left in the third period. LSU should have been able to take advantage of Auburn’s cold shooting, but the Lady Tigers turned the ball over nine times in the first seven minutes. LSU managed to grab the 33-32 lead at the end of the third period on a jumper by Shanice Norton.
LSU jumped on the board first in the fourth quarter on a field goal by Jasmine Rhodes and two free throws by Moncrief for its biggest lead of the game at that point, five points. At the media timeout, LSU held a 45-38 lead and Rhodes was key with six of her nine points in the fourth period. LSU saw its biggest lead at seven points, 47-40, with just under three minutes left in the game slip away as Auburn used a 14-2 run to close out the game. LSU was able to tie the score, 49-49, with 33 seconds remaining in the game but was forced to foul and Auburn hit five free throws for the eventual 54-49 win.
LSU closes out its regular season on Sunday at 12 p.m., with a rematch against Vanderbilt. The Lady Tigers will be looking to avenge their previous 70-68 loss in Nashville just two weeks ago. Lady Tiger seniors Rina Hill, Jasmine Rhodes and Alexis Hyder will be honored prior to tipoff.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast by SEC Network with Melissa Lee and Tamika Catchings handling the commentary. Fans arriving early will receive a 2007 Final Four commemorative poster.
“We need to remember what that loss at Vanderbilt felt like, that feeling of defeat sitting in the pit of your stomach,” said Fargas. “The game is going to be an emotional one with it being senior day, but it’s a game that can segment us into SEC play on a good note, and that’s how you want to finish – on a positive note.”