AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn women’s basketball team heads out on its second road trip of SEC play, traveling to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT Thursday at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
Auburn seeks its first SEC win of the season after dropping its first two contests to LSU and Georgia last week. The Rebels will also be in search of their first league win; Ole Miss fell at home to LSU in overtime Monday afternoon.
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ON THE AIR
›› Brit Bowen and Larry DiChiara will have the radio call beginning at 5:45 p.m. CT. The game can be heard locally on WQSI 93.9 FM and online at AuburnTigers.com and the official Auburn Tigers app.
›› The game can be seen on SEC Network + with Seth Austin and Lindsay King on the call. SEC Network + is available through WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.
LAST TIME OUT
›› Georgia’s size and depth were too much to overcome for the Auburn women’s basketball team Sunday afternoon as the Tigers fell 76-44 to the Lady Bulldogs at Auburn Arena.
›› The Tigers (5-5, 0-2 SEC), without leading scorer and rebounder Unique Thompson for the second straight game, were unable to get much going on offense and turned the ball over a season-high 27 times. Georgia (9-1, 1-1) converted those turnovers into 26 points and had seven players score at least eight points in the game.
›› Junior Keya Patton was Auburn’s only player in double figures with 12 points, going 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. Jala Jordan added nine points. Romi Levy added a career-best six steals, the most by an Auburn player this season. Alaina Rice and Honesty Scott-Grayson were the Tigers’ top rebounders with four apiece.
›› Auburn shot 30.8 percent from the field (16-52) and hit just one 3-pointer on 11 tries. Georgia shot 50 percent on the day (31-62) and out-rebounded the Tigers 43-27.
AN AUBURN WIN WOULD…
›› Snap a three-game losing streak.
›› Be Auburn’s fourth straight win over Ole Miss.
AUBURN-OLE MISS SERIES
›› Auburn is 37-25 all-time against Ole Miss, but the Rebels own a 13-12 advantage in games played in Oxford. The Tigers are 2-1 in Oxford since The Pavilion opened, including a 64-51 win in 2019.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 23, 2020 in Auburn
Auburn 59, Ole Miss 43
›› Auburn put together one of its best defensive efforts of the season and pulled away in the fourth quarter as the Tigers defeated Ole Miss 59-43 at Auburn Arena.
›› The Tigers earned their first SEC win of the year and snapped a five-game losing streak as a four-point lead at the end of the third quarter ballooned to as much as 19 in the fourth as Auburn outscored Ole Miss 21-9 in the final period.
›› Unique Thompson made a pair of late free throws to secure her NCAA-leading 16th double-double in 17 games, racking up 10 points and 13 rebounds. Daisa Alexander had a career-high 10 rebounds along with seven points, three assists and two steals.
›› Auburn had another rough night from the floor, shooting 30.3 percent, but knocked down seven 3-pointers and was 12-of-15 at the free-throw line. The Tigers held Ole Miss to 27.4 percent from the floor, the lowest by an Auburn opponent this season, and were able to keep the Rebels away from the foul line as they attempted just four free throws. The Tigers grabbed a season-high 55 rebounds, their most since pulling down 57 in an overtime game at Marquette in 2015. Auburn also scored a season-high 12 points on fast breaks.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
›› Ole Miss is 6-1 overall, 0-1 in SEC play. The Rebels had to postpone their first SEC game due to COVID-19 issues but played LSU Monday afternoon, falling 77-69 in overtime.
›› The Rebels have the SEC’s top scoring defense, allowing just 52.4 points/game, and the league’s top scoring margin, outscoring opponents by an average of 30.6 points.
›› Maryland transfer Shakira Austin leads the Rebels with 18.1 points/game. Freshman Madison Scott is the Rebs’ top rebounder with 7.8/game.
›› Senior forward Unique Thompson leads the nation with 15.3 rebounds per game this year and leads Auburn with 18.8 points/game. She is also the national leader in double-doubles with seven. Thompson pulled down her 1,000th career rebound against Belmont on Dec. 20 and is the only active player nationally with over 1,000 career rebounds. An honorable-mention All-American and first-team All-SEC performer a year ago, Thompson is Auburn’s lone returning starter. She averaged a double-double for the second straight year in 2020 with 16.2 points and 11.4 rebounds, leading Auburn in both categories.
›› Thompson has been unavailable the last two games due to medical issues.
›› Two redshirt sophomore transfers that sat out last season are making an immediate impact. Honesty Scott-Grayson (Baylor) and Jala Jordan (West Virginia) have both earned significant minutes through the first several games. Scott-Grayson has started all 10 games and had a career-high 18 points vs. Belmont, 16 points against both SFA and North Florida, and 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals vs. Gardner-Webb. Jordan is Auburn’s third-leading scorer with 8.5 points/game; she’s also the Tigers’ second-leading rebounder (4.0/game) and leading shot-blocker (1.0/game)
›› Four other returners saw game action for Auburn last season: redshirt junior Kiyae’ White and sophomores Annie Hughes, Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu and Sania Wells. Hughes scored a career-high 17 points against North Florida and has started seven games. Wells and Robinson-Nwagwu played significant minutes in the opener; Robinson-Nwagwu had a career-high four steals and matched career-highs with 6 points and 4 rebounds. Wells scored a career-high 11 points in the win over South Alabama and made her first career start at LSU.
ALL THE NEW FACES
›› Of the 15 players on the roster, 10 of them wore an Auburn uniform for the first time in game action vs. USC Upstate. All 10 newcomers saw the floor in the Tigers’ 82-41 win on Nov. 25 and again vs. Gardner-Webb on Dec. 1.
›› Auburn added three junior college transfers during the offseason, including two NJCAA All-Americans:
›› Kira Lowery came to Auburn from Dyersburg State CC (Tenn.) where she ranked third in the nation in scoring (23.3 ppg) and second in steals (4.0/game) and was an NJCAA All-American in 2020. Lowery has started eight games at PG and leads Auburn with 1.8 assists/game.
›› Keya Patton was a two-time All-American at Wabash Valley College (Ill.), where she scored over 1,000 points in two seasons and averaged 20.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.4 steals as a sophomore. She scored a season-best 14 points vs. Gardner-Webb (12/1) and made her first Auburn start vs. Georgia (1/3).
›› Alycia Reese joins the Tigers from just down the road at Chattahoochee Valley CC in Phenix City, where she led the team with 12.8 points/game last season. Reese scored 10 points and hit Auburn’s only two 3-pointers at Houston (12/5).
›› Sophomore Alaina Rice joined the Tigers in June after transferring from Florida A&M. Rice was MEAC Rookie of the Year in 2020 at FAMU where she averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. Rice led Auburn with 5 assists in the season-opener and scored 9 points vs. North Florida.
›› The Tigers signed two freshmen during the offeseason: Romi Levy (6-2, F, Herzliya, Israel) and Aicha Coulibaly (6-0, F/G, Mali). Two others joined Auburn as walk-ons: Riley Donahue (5-10, G, Atlanta, Ga.) and Carsen McFadden (5-7, G, Fairview, Texas). Coulibaly started the first four games; Levy is averaging 5.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals. McFadden played significant minutes in the win over South Alabama, sharing the team lead with three assists.
›› Auburn returns home for two straight games, beginning with a visit from Missouri on Sunday, Jan. 10. Game time is 2 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena.