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No. 13 LSU Battles For 71-66 Win Over Auburn

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No. 13 LSU Battles For 71-66 Win Over Auburn

BATON ROUGE — Angel Reese led No.13 LSU in a 71-66 win over Auburn on Thursday night inside the PMAC. LSU improves to 23-4 overall and 9-3 in conference play after earning its first win against Auburn this year.

Reese secured her 17th double-double of the season with 25 points and 20 boards. Reese has earned a double-double in 10 of her last 11 games. It also marks Reese’s 7th game 20-20. It was her sixth 25-20 game, the second most in the country over the past 25 seasons.

Last-Tear Poa finished with a career-high of 13 points. Poa went 7-8 from the free throw line, including four clutch ones in the final minute of the game. Flau’Jae Johnson added 11 points on 5-8 from the field and grabbed 6 rebounds. 

Hailey Van Lith and Aalyah Del Rosario played valuable minutes Thursday night scoring 7 and 6, respectively.

Auburn’s Honesty Scott-Grayson led all scorers with 28 points on 10-23 from the field and 5-8 from deep. JaMya Mingo-Young and Sydney Shaw were other contributors with 16 and 9 points, respectively. 

LSU held Auburn to 38-percent from the field, its fourth consecutive game holding its opponents below 40-percent. LSU was dominant in the paint with a 40-16 edge. Free throw shooting played a role in the game as LSU, who leads the nation in free throw attempts and makes, was 23-27 from the charity from the charity stripe. Auburn was 11-16 at the free throw line. LSU did commit its fair share of turnovers, 23 to be exact, but still found a way to earn the win.

“It is a good sign and we will find the positive tomorrow when we look at the film,” Coach Kim Mulkey said about the defense. “We will continue to show film on the things we have to clean up. We have to clean up turnovers.”

LSU will be back in action on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT against Tennessee inside the Thompson-Boling Arena on ESPN. LSU will stay on the road against Georgia before closing out the regular season against Kentucky at home next Sunday, March 3rd. 

Morrow got LSU on the board first with a pair of early free throws before Auburn went on to score six straight. LSU responded with an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 lead into the first media timeout. Auburn hit back to back threes following the break to knot things up at 12. After trading buckets, LSU finished the first quarter on a 5-0 run. Van Lith capped off the run with a buzzer beater that started from an inbound on the other side with just 3 seconds to go. 

Auburn outscored LSU 8-4 in the first three minutes of the second quarter. Reese scored the only 4 points for LSU and hauled in 3 boards in that time. After falling to as many as 3, Reese scored 3 straight to put LSU back even at 28-28. LSU went on a 12-0 run in the final three minutes that saw 6 points from Del Rosario and 3 from Poa. The final points of the half came from another buzzer beater, this time from the hand of Johnson. LSU took a 40-30 lead into the break. 

Auburn’s Scott-Grayson led all scorers at the half after scoring 17 in the first 20 minutes. Scott-Grayson was 4-5 from the three-point line and a perfect 3-3 from the charity stripe. Shaw added 7 points while no other Auburn Tiger had more than 2 points. As a team, Auburn was 62.5 percent from the three-point line and 40.7-percent from the field. 

LSU went 16-30 for 53.3-percent from the field and made 2 of its 4 three-point attempts. LSU was led by Reese at the half, who had 11 points and 9 rebounds. LSU outrebounded Auburn 19-10 and scored 26 of its points inside the paint. 

Reese and Johnson combined for 10 points through the first five minutes of the quarter. Auburn came back from being down by as many as 12 to just 2 at the four minute mark. After Auburn made another three to get within striking distance, Poa went 2-2 from the foul line to give LSU a 5 point lead with 2 minutes remaining in the quarter. LSU ended the quarter on a 6-0 run and held Auburn scoreless for the final three minutes of play. 

LSU held a 58-49 lead to start the final quarter. Auburn scored 5 in the opening minute to put themselves within 4 points. LSU extended its lead back to 8 with 4 points from Reese and a couple from Mikaylah Williams. Both teams went without a field goal for four minutes through the middle of the quarter. 

Auburn went on another 5-0 run to make it a one score game, 64-61. Morrow went 1-2 from the foul line to make it a two bucket game and Auburn followed by going 0-2 from the free throw line in crunch time. Poa was then sent to the line with a 4 point lead and 52 seconds to play, she made both to take a 69-63 lead. Taylen Collins made a put-back layup with 29 seconds remaining to put Auburn back within 4. Both squads fought till the end, but Poa made her free throws to secure the LSU win.