Auburn stuns defending champion LSU, sets attendance record

AUBURN, Ala. – In front of the largest crowd to witness a women’s basketball game at Neville Arena, Auburn stunned defending national champion No. 7 LSU 67-62 Sunday behind 21 points from Honesty Scott-Grayson.
“My team fought. They have been right there. They prepared well. They played hard. We told them you’ve got to be tough,” said head coach Johnnie Harris, who earned her second top-10 win at Auburn. “I’m proud for them to play in front of a crowd like this. We fed off their energy. We’re making progress. Come and support this team because they deserve it. They work really hard.”
With Auburn leading 64-62 in the final seconds, Taylen Collins skillfully defended LSU All-American Angel Reese, and JaMya Mingo-Young double-teamed, stole the ball, drew a foul and made both free throws to put the Tigers ahead by four with 10 seconds left.
“I knew I had a clean shot at the ball so I just went for it,” Mingo-Young said.
“We guarded that play all week,” Harris said. “We knew she was going to drive it. Mingo helped in and got the steal. They were prepared for that. We worked on it the last three days. She’s a defensive-minded player. She’s all about toughness. There was no denying her there. She timed it just right.”
Mingo-Young scored 13 points, made five assists, grabbed three rebounds and made two steals. Collins led Auburn with seven rebounds and Celia Sumbane made four of the Tigers’ 10 steals.
With 7,720 in attendance, Scott-Grayson opened the fourth quarter with a jumper that gave the Tigers a one-point lead as cheers of “Let’s go Auburn!” thundered through the arena.
“We knew we had to go out there and put on a show,” Scott-Grayson said. “To see all of those people was a sight to see. It was good for us. I’ve been waiting for this moment, and it came, so I’m embracing it.”
“When we were making a run, it was so loud in here and you could tell that these people were behind us,” Harris said. “This was our family weekend, and that’s what family is all about, getting behind them. For them to see that, feel that and feed off that was an amazing experience.”
Sumbane stole the ball and passed to Mar’shaun Bostic, who found Scott-Grayson for a layup that gave Auburn a 55-54 lead, an advantage the Tigers maintained over the final 6 minutes and 34 seconds.
McKenna Eddings’ only basket of the game was a biggie, a corner 3-pointer that extended Auburn’s lead to 59-55 with 5:21 to play.
With fewer than three minutes to play, Reese made LSU’s first field goal of the quarter on a putback that cut Auburn’s lead to one.
Scott-Grayson drove and scored to put Auburn ahead 62-59 at the 2:29 mark, and Mingo-Young hit four free throws down the stretch to keep LSU at bay and end the Bengal Tigers’ 16-game win streak.
Unintimidated by LSU’s championship resume and star-studded roster, Auburn built a double-digit lead in the first quarter by making four steals and outscoring the visitors 7-3 in points off turnovers.
Mingo-Young stole the ball and passed to Scott-Grayson, who scored a layup, drew a foul and made a free throw to give Auburn an 11-7 lead.
Scott-Grayson scored eight in the quarter, including a 3-pointer that put the Tigers ahead by 10 before LSU ended the period with a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds to play to cut Auburn’s lead to 23-15 after the first quarter.
The home Tigers missed their first six shots in the second quarter while LSU used a 10-0 run to take the lead.
Mingo-Young’s jumper ended the run and tied the score at 25-25. After an Auburn steal, Sumbane’s 3-point play gave the Tigers a 28-25 lead midway through the quarter.
In a half that featured eight lead changes, Scott-Grayson’s layup gave Auburn its final lead of the half before LSU answered with a layup seven seconds later on its way to a 37-34 halftime lead. 
Trailing by three at the half, Auburn scored the first six points of the third quarter on baskets by Kaitlyn Duhon, Scott-Grayson and Collins to take a 40-37 lead.
After LSU reclaimed the lead, Sydney Shaw’s second-chance 3-pointer put Auburn ahead by one before Reese’s layup eight seconds later put the Bengal Tiger ahead 48-47 in a game that featured 17 lead changes.
Scott-Grayson’s jumper with 4 seconds left in the third quarter pulled Auburn within one heading to the final 10 minutes.
Reese led all scorers with 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. LSU’s (16-2, 3-1) Aneesah Morrow also logged a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Auburn (12-5, 1-3) travels to Nashville to play Vanderbilt Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT before returning to the Plains next Sunday to host Alabama to start a three-game homestand.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer 


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