It’s a Good Year to be Watching Auburn Basketball—Both Men and Women
Auburn women rallied from a 20-point deficit against Vandy to complete their sixth road win of the season
The Auburn Arena was rocking Saturday as the Auburn men’s basketball team made an intense push to rally against blue-blood program, Kentucky. Playing without their starting center, Austin Wiley, the defending SEC champs fell just short on a last second shot by Jared Harper that would have given Auburn the win. Still, it was an exciting game, and it continues to be an exciting time to be an Auburn basketball fan.
Lost in the euphoria that surrounds the men’s basketball success has been a remarkable showing by the Auburn women. Just past the halfway point of the season, the Tigers are 15–3 after a dramatic come-from-behind win against Vanderbilt last week.
Auburn rallied from a 20-point deficit Thursday to upend Vanderbilt in a 72–70 road win at the Commodores’ Memorial Gym. It was just, “Unbelievable,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “It goes back to what I’ve been trying to preach to them—it’s our defense that wins games. It’s our defense that makes our offense. When the shots aren’t falling, the game can’t just end. You’ve got to figure out how to defend and rebound.”
And defense is what earned the win as the Dores shot 61.0 percent from the floor, including a 69.2-percent of 3-pointers. But the Tigers forced 21 turnovers, converting those into 24 points.
The Tigers shot 64.7 percent in the final period to outscore Vandy 43–21 over the final 18 minutes of the game. With eight seconds to go freshman Robyn Benton hit a free throw to put Auburn up by two. That was followed by Vandy’s baseline jumper at the buzzer falling short to give the Tigers a two-point victory.
Although scoring leader Daisa Alexander’s 18.8 points per game average is the fourth-best in the SEC, it was Janiah McKay who led the Tigers in this one with 19 points and six assists. Unique Thompson picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The 20-point comeback is the largest the Tigers have ever given Coach Flo and is tied for the largest deficit ever overcome in an SEC game.
It was Auburn’s third straight SEC road win this season and gives the Tigers a six-game road winning streak, the longest road streak in 10 years. It’s a good year to be watching Auburn basketball, both men and women.
The women will be back in Auburn Arena this Thursday, January 24 against Texas A&M. Be sure to tune to the SEC Network or better yet, if you can make the game, come out and support the Tigers in person. It’s the annual “We Back Pat” game, and it’s sure to be a thriller. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. See you there.