Auburn Holds Off Wofford for Season-Opening 84-82 Win
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
Junior Unique Thompson and senior Daisa Alexander combined for 47 points, and the Auburn women’s basketball team held off a late rally to earn an 84-82 win over Wofford Wednesday night to open the 2019-20 season.
The Tigers (1-0) led by as many as 17 points midway through the third quarter but saw the Terriers (0-1) storm back to take the lead just nine minutes later. But strong rebounding and free-throw shooting down the stretch allowed Auburn to withstand a second-half 3-point barrage from Wofford.
“Great offensive night,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We scored 84 points. I don’t think we scored 84 points many times last year. I think our kids kept fighting. Wofford is a very good team, probably going to win their conference this year. It’s a great test for us in the beginning.”
Thompson picked up where she left off with her 21st career double-double, scoring 25 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Alexander finished with 22 points and was 9-of-12 at the free-throw line, including a 7-of-8 mark in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Brooke Moore scored 15 points in her first career start, and freshman Annie Hughes finished with 10 points, a team-high four assists and two steals. Sophomore Kiyae’ White pulled down a career-high nine rebounds as she started for the first time.
Three freshmen made their Auburn debuts. Hughes started and played just under 30 minutes, and Maliya Perry and Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu saw 11 minutes each off the bench.
Auburn shot 46.9 percent for the game (30-of-64) and was 20-of-28 at the free-throw line. The Tigers out-rebounded the Terriers 43-32, including 17 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second-chance points. Auburn also controlled the paint, outscoring Wofford inside 38-18. The Terriers, shot 48.1 percent from 3-point range, hitting 13-of-27 attempts from long range, including 9-of-16 in the second half.
After the teams finished the first 10 minutes tied 11-11, Auburn outscored Wofford in the second quarter 24-13 to take a 35-24 lead at the break. An 11-4 run over the first 5:13 of the third quarter pushed the Tigers’ advantage to as many as 17 at 51-34. Auburn saw its lead shrink a bit by the end of the quarter but still took a 58-48 lead to the final 10 minutes.
But from there, the Terriers got hot, shooting 58.8 percent in the final period including a 71.4-percent clip from 3-point range. Wofford opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run, cutting the lead to four at the 8:23 mark, then pulled ahead two minutes later on one of Chloe Wanink’s eight 3-pointers on the night to take a 66-65 lead.
With the score tied 66-all, Hughes came up with one of the biggest plays of the night, sneaking in to grab an offensive rebound off a missed Auburn free throw, putting in back up for two and drawing a foul to push the Tigers back ahead 69-66. The Tigers would never trail again, hitting 12-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off a determined Wofford squad.
Wofford’s Chloe Wanink led all scorers with 28 points, including eight 3-pointers. Da’Ja Green added 25 for the Terriers.
The Tigers will return to action next Thursday, Nov. 14, when they host Old Dominion at Auburn Arena. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT, and tickets are available at AUBTix.com.