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Hot-shooting Tigers top Oklahoma State 77-66

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AUBURN, Ala. Auburn shot for the highest percentage in nearly three years as the Tigers led almost from start to finish in a 77-66 win over Oklahoma State Sunday at Auburn Arena.

The Tigers (5-3) shot 60.4 percent of the field to win their third game in a row and fifth in their last six games. Auburn’s win was the SEC’s sixth of the week, earning him a second straight win for the conference in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

“I thought our team came out and played hard,” head coach Auburn Johnnie Harris said. “We challenged them to come out strong, to be prepared, to deliver the first punch. We got into trouble early on, but I thought we were playing really hard. Just a total team effort. My staff was great with the preparation of our team to be ready for this game.”

sophomore Aicha Coulibaly topped 20 points for the third game in a row, with a game-high 25 on 9-of-10 shooting; 17 of her 25 came in the second half. She also had five rebounds and a team-best three steals.

“We saw some mismatches (in the second half) and we were trying to set up some plays for AC,” said Harris. “It was the same plays we played, we just moved some people to get AC open.”

Honesty Scott-Grayson took the lead from the start, posting a night of 22 points while splitting the team leader with six rebounds. Sania Wells overcame early foul problems to finish with 13 points, six boards and a team-best four assists. And Jala Jordan had her second consecutive productive game, scoring nine points along with four rebounds and three blocks.

“Honesty did a great job at that point,” Harris said. “We worked with her on that this week in case there were any serious problems, and she did a good job. They all know the next person has to stand up if we get in trouble, if someone gets hurt, if I should attract someone, we’re working with them on the practice to make sure they’re ready for that.”

The Tigers’ (29-of-48) shooting night was the best for an Auburn team since the 2018-19 squad shot 63.3 percent in a win over Elon. Auburn hit the first six shots and never really cooled down, taking 66.7 percent in the first half. Auburn also outperformed Oklahoma State 32-30, taking 44 of his 77 points in the paint.

Oklahoma State scored the first basket of the game, but after Scott-Grayson answered with a baseline jumper to make it 2-2, the Tigers never got behind. Auburn pushed the lead halfway through the first to a whopping six points and led 21-16 after 10 minutes.

The Tigers started the second quarter with a 10-2 run, taking a 31-18 lead on a Jordan layup with 6:13 left; OSU would cut it down to nine at 40-31 after 20 minutes.

A basket-and-one from Coulibaly pushed the Tigers’ lead back to 44-33 early in the third, but the Cowgirls would go on a 6-0 run to get inside five; the auburn lead would be 56-50 after three. OSU would come as close as two points to 61-59 with just over six minutes to play, but back-to-back turnovers would help Auburn push his advantage back to seven at 67-60. Leading six with a minute to go, Wells and Coulibaly made free throws to take the game out of reach of OSU.

Lauren Fields led the state of Oklahoma with 20 points; Taylen Collins added 11 along with a game-high eight rebounds.

After a week off for final exams, Auburn will return to action next Sunday, December 12 when the Tigers play host to New Orleans. Playtime is 2:00 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena with a national broadcast on SEC Network.

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