The following is from Auburn Athletics:
A 3-pointer from Brandy Montgomery with 8.6 seconds left sent the game to overtime, and Auburn outscored Arkansas 15-4 in the extra period for a 71-60 win Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers (13-7, 3-4 SEC) overcame a sluggish start and stayed close with Arkansas (9-11, 4-3) in a back-and-forth game that featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes. Turnovers were key - especially late in the game - as Auburn forced the Razorbacks into 28 turnovers, improving to 7-0 this season when forcing 25-plus.
“It was definitely a better second half than first half, and an even better overtime performance from our young ladies," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We just kept fighting. We kept fighting all the way until the end. ... Our defense was able to keep us (in the game) to only go down by two at half. It continued and then brought us the win in overtime.”
Auburn led 53-50 with just over a minute to play, but Arkansas tied the game on a 3-pointer from Devin Cosper at the 1:15 mark. After an Auburn turnover, the Razorbacks took the lead on a Kelsey Brooks trey with 15 seconds to play. The Tigers moved the ball into the frontcourt and called timeout to set up Montgomery's contested, overtime-forcing shot.
“I knew my teammates were going to set the screen for me," Montgomery said, "so once I ran through, I was open for a split second so I caught it and shot.”
Auburn never trailed in the extra period, shooting 75% (6-of-8) and holding Arkansas to 2-of-8 shooting (25%). The final margin was Auburn's largest lead of the game. Junior Katie Frerking - who had a monster game with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals - scored five of her 13 points in overtime.
Tra'Cee Tanner led Auburn with a season-high 21 points and shared the team lead with Frerking with seven rebounds. Montgomery finished with 15 points and three steals, and freshman Janiah McKay added 12 points and a career-high five steals. McKay was also strong at the free-throw line, hitting 5-of-6 attempts.
Led by Tanner's 21, the Tigers dominated the inside game, scoring a season-high 44 points in the paint to Arkansas' 10. Auburn also turned Arkansas' 28 turnovers into 24 points, and the Tigers' bench outscored Arkansas' reserves 16-0.
The Tigers' 21 steals were the second-most this season, just behind the school record-tying 24 against East Carolina on Dec. 5, and tied for the ninth-most in team history.
Auburn trailed 26-24 at halftime after shooting 33.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes. Arkansas was worse from the field in the half at 27.6 percent, but of their eight successful field goal tries, five were 3-pointers. The Razorbacks held onto their two-point lead after three quarters at 42-40 after a 63.6-percent shooting effort in the third.
The Tigers took a 12-8 lead after one quarter when McKay hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Auburn hits the road for four of its next five games, beginning with a Thursday night tilt against the Georgia Lady Bulldogs in Athens, Ga. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT at Stegeman Coliseum, and SEC Network will have the broadcast.
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