Auburn holds off LSU for third straight home win


AUBURN, Ala. – Unique Thompson scored a game-high 23 points and Daisa Alexander had a career-high 10 assists as the Auburn women’s basketball team never trailed in earning its third straight home win, a 65-60 victory over LSU Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena.

Auburn led by as many as 15 points late in the fourth quarter before a flurry of turnovers allowed LSU to cut the lead to as few as four. But Auburn was able to get a pair of late stops and make free throws late to overcome the furious LSU rally.

“We survived,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “It wasn’t pretty at all, but we held on. Thank goodness we had a large enough lead to finish it out. It’s a big win and you’re protecting home court. LSU is a good team. But I kept telling (our team) that they were going to make a run. (LSU) played extremely hard.

“I thought Lauren (Hansen) definitely gave us that edge and then Robyn (Benton) hit some good shots as well. Whenever we can shoot the ball, it’s good for this team because their mindset goes as we make shots.”

Thompson’s 23 points led all scorers; she also finished with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Hansen scored 16 points, hitting 4-of-6 3-point attempts on the day. And Benton added 11 points along with a game-high four steals.

Alexander’s 10 assists were the most for an Auburn player in an SEC game since Janiah McKay had 13 against Ole Miss during the 2017 season. Alexander also had seven points and six rebounds.

Auburn shot 48.9 percent for the game, its second-best effort in SEC play, while holding LSU to 35.6 percent. Auburn also shot 50 percent from 3-point range for the second straight game, hitting 8-of-16 from long range. LSU out-rebounded Auburn 36-31.

Auburn led from wire-to-wire for the second time this season, jumping out to an early 8-2 lead in the first three minutes. LSU would get no closer than four points the rest of the game as Auburn led 17-13 at the end of one, then took a 33-22 lead to halftime.

The second possession of the second half saw Hansen shake off a defender to sink her fourth 3-pointer of the game to push Auburn’s lead to 14. LSU responded with a 7-0 run to make it 36-29, but Auburn was able to get some stops down the stretch to take a 42-34 lead to the fourth.

Thompson took over in the final 10 minutes, going 5-for-5 from the floor and drawing four fouls to score 13 points. Her layup with 2:35 to play gave Auburn its biggest lead at 61-46. But LSU responded with a 12-1 run over the next 83 seconds to cut the lead to four at 62-58. On the next possession, Erin Howard blocked a shot, Alexander pulled down the rebound and was fouled, making both shots to put Auburn back up by six. On LSU’s next possession, Benton stole an inbound pass to eliminate another opportunity, and LSU only got one more good look on the offensive end down the stretch.

Faustine Aifuwa led LSU with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Khayla Pointer added 18.

The Tigers will be back in action Thursday night as they host No. 6 Mississippi State. Game time is 8 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena with a national broadcast on SEC Network.

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