AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — N’Dea Jones had 23 points and 11 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season as No. 8 Texas A&M beat Auburn 84-69 on Thursday night.
Texas A&M (14-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) used a 9-0 run midway through the second quarter to get a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, despite several pushes from an upset-minded Auburn team in the third quarter.
“Auburn does a lot of pressing, so they’re known for slowing down their opponents and making people overthink,” Jones said. “It took us some time to finally get it together and click. Then, once we listened to the game plan, we saw gaps in their defense and played our game.”
Jones, who entered the game tied for the Division I lead in double-doubles, has now accomplished the feat in six of the Aggies’ seven SEC games this season. Destiny Pitts added 14 points and hit five of her eight attempts from 3-point range.
Auburn (5-10, 0-7) came into the game with a clear plan for the upset — create turnovers with its high-pressure defense and shoot a season-high 34 3-pointers. Honesty Scott-Grayson hit four shots from deep and led the Tigers with 21 points, while Unique Thompson had 18 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought we came out and really gave the No. 8 team in the country a good run — a really good run,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “I thought we had some good energy. They’re just very good, and they hurt us where we knew we didn’t want them to hurt us, and that was rebounding and points in the paint.”
Texas A&M: Head coach Gary Blair said his team got a wakeup call in its narrow win over unranked Missouri earlier in the week, but the Aggies looked more like their usual selves Thursday thanks to a strong second half. The win marked the eighth time this season in which at least four different Aggies scored in double figures.
“After the first quarter, we were in fine shape,” Blair said. “We basically shot 50 percent the rest of the way. … I wasn’t happy with our turnovers, but I was happy with the win. We finished them off really well with how we kept executing down the stretch.”
Auburn: The Tigers cut Texas A&M’s lead to one on multiple occasions in the third quarter but weren’t able to ever retake the lead. Auburn, which has now lost eight straight contests, has been tougher against quality competition since Thompson returned from a three-game absence earlier this month.
Texas A&M hosts No. 22 Georgia on Sunday. This will be the start of a long homestand for the Aggies, who will play four straight home games following the cancellation of a road contest at Vanderbilt on Feb. 11.