Auburn Women host Mississippi State on Thursday

AUBURN, Ala. –The Auburn women’s basketball team returns to the field at Auburn Arena Thursday night as they host Mississippi State at 7 p.m. CT.

The first 500 fans at the Purse entrance can pick up a DeWanna Bonner jersey replica t-shirt for free. Tickets are available on AUBTix.com and at the Auburn Arena box office on game day.

Auburn is looking to rebound after losing an 81-66 decision to Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers staged a comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting a 27-point deficit to just 12 in the final minutes, but were unable to overcome a blistering Commodores start.

Mississippi State arrives fresh off two straight wins, including a 20-point victory over Texas A&M on Sunday. Tigers seek first win over Bulldogs since 2014; last season, Auburn couldn’t hold a halftime lead at Starkville as they were down 81-68.

ON THE AIR

›› Brit Bowen and Larry DiChiara will have the radio call starting at 6:45 p.m. CT on WQSI 93.9 FM in Auburn. The game can also be heard on AuburnTigers.com and the Auburn Athletics mobile app.
›› Thursday’s game can be seen on SEC Network+ with JJ Jackson and Hall of Famer Joe Ciampi calling for action. SECN+ is available through WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app.

LAST TIME OUT

›› A hot-firing Vanderbilt team retired early as Auburn fell to the Commodores 81-66 Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gym.
›› The Tigers struggled with early fouls and turnover issues, and Vanderbilt could barely miss, hitting 20 of 23 shots over 17 minutes to build a 25-point halftime lead that they wouldn’t give up. Auburn managed to cut what had been a 27-point deficit to just 12 by the end of the fourth, but the Tigers couldn’t come close despite their best scoring in the second half of the year.
›› Aicha Coulibaly led Auburn with 21 points, scoring 15 of those in the second half, and Honesty Scott-Grayson added 14. Each player had five team-leading rebounds. Mar’Shaun Bostic and Annie Hughes had four assists apiece and Coulibaly led the Tigres with four interceptions. Jala Jordan added nine points and three blocks.
›› Auburn forced Vandy to 27 turnovers, converting them to 23 points, but the Commodores capitalized more on Auburn’s early mistakes, converting 15 turnovers to 24 points. Vandy shot a season-high 58.3 percent from the field and knocked down 7 of 10 3-point attempts. Auburn, meanwhile, hit 44 percent from the floor. The Tigers were limited to 23 rebounds, the lowest of the season.

AN AUBURN VICTORY WOULD BE…

›› Improve the Tigers to 8-4 at home this season.
›› Take a 9-game skid against Mississippi State that dates back to 2014.

AUBURN-MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES

›› This is the 60th meeting between Auburn and Mississippi State in women’s basketball. Auburn leads the series 35-24 with a 20-8 home lead.
›› The last time the teams met at Auburn Arena in 2020, the Tigers took the 9th-ranked Bulldogs to overtime before falling 92-85.

LAST MEETING: February 23, 2021, in Starkville
Mississippi State 81, Auburn 68

›› Senior Auburn single thompson set the all-time career rebounding record for Auburn and had a night of 22 points and 14 rebounds, but the Tigers blew a halftime lead in an 81-68 loss at Mississippi State.
›› Thompson’s 1,119th career rebound came with 5:28 left in the third quarter, passing Becky Jackson for the top spot in Auburn’s record books.
›› Thompson’s big night, along with a 24-point performance from Honesty Scott-Grayson, kept the Tigers in the game. But fatigue set in for the shorthanded Tigers – who only dressed eight players due to injuries and suspensions – and the Bulldogs pulled out late.
›› Auburn shot 38% from the field (25-66) versus MSU’s 46% (32-69). State outshot Auburn 46-40 and had 23 second-chance points on 15 offensive rebounds.

MISSISSIPPI STATE SCOUTING
›› Mississippi State is 13-7 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. The Bulldogs arrive fresh off two straight wins, including a 20-point win over Texas A&M on Sunday.
›› State is averaging 72.5 points per game while giving up 64.5.
›› Among active players, Anastasia Hayes leads the Bulldogs with 18.3 points per game. Myah Taylor is one of the league’s best point guards, leading the SEC with 5.7 assists and ranking second in the league with 3.1 steals per game.

A FAMILY REUNION

›› Auburn’s Johnnie Harris will face Mississippi State for the first time as head coach. She spent eight seasons as an associate head coach at MSU, helping lead the Bulldogs to a pair of national championship game appearances and two SEC titles.
›› Auburn Assistant Coach Ketara Chapel and director of player development Savannah Carter both played for Harris at MSU.

AUBURN SCOUTING

›› Auburn is 9-11, 1-8 in SEC play. After dropping in five SEC games where the Tigers led in the fourth quarter or were less than one possession in the final minute, the Tigers finally broke through with a stunning 71-61 win over No. 4 Tennessee on Jan. 27. , snapping a 23-game SEC losing streak.
›› With wins at No. 18 Georgia Tech on Nov. 21 and at home against No. 4 Tennessee on Jan. 27, Auburn has two wins over ranked opponents for the first time since 2016.
>> Second year Aicha Coulibaly leads Auburn and is fourth in the SEC with 18.3 points/game. She is also the Tigers’ leading rebounder with 8.0 rebounds per game (7th SEC). She topped the 20-point mark in eight games, scoring a career-high 27 vs. Charleston Southern, 23 vs. North Florida, 25 vs. Oklahoma State, 24 at Belmont, 23 vs. Kennesaw State, 24 vs. Florida, 26 vs. North Florida . Tennessee and 21 in Vanderbilt. She also has four double-doubles this season, including 14 points and 11 rebounds against Kentucky. For her efforts against UNF and OSU, she was named SEC Player of the Week on December 7.
›› Junior red shirt Honesty Scott-Grayson is averaging 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds, and she recorded two double-doubles. She was the Tigers’ top returner from 2020 to 2021 in most statistical categories: goalscoring (14.5 ppg), rebounding (4.1 rpg), assists (1.7 apg), steals (2.1 APG ) and shooting (.406 FG/.301 3FG/ 0.761 ft).
›› Junior Guard Well of Sania is the SEC’s leading free throw shooter at .934 (57-61), which also ranks 5th nationally. She scored a career-high 20 points at Missouri on January 6.
>> Youth Annie Hughes is the only Tiger to appear in every game since the start of the 2019-20 season. Hughes scored a career-high 21 points and hit 5 3-pointers against Charleston Southern on November 26. She also hit a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter that was a dagger in the Tigers’ upset against No. 4 Tennessee.

FOLLOWING

›› After a weekend off, the Tigers are back on the road next Thursday, February 10, traveling to Fayetteville to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. Game time is 7:00 p.m. CT at Bud Walton Arena.

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