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WNCAA: Auburn and Aicha Coulibaly (14pts) fall against Sali Kourouma (16pts) and Little Rock

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Auburn women’s basketball team was unable to climb out of an early hole Wednesday afternoon at Little Rock, falling to the Trojans 57-49 at the Jack Stephens Center.

The Tigers (2-3) trailed nearly from start to finish, cutting the deficit from double-digits to as little as one point, but could never get over the hump as Little Rock (4-1) had an answer every time.

“I thought it was a lack of focus,” Auburn head coach Johnnie Harris said. “We let them catch the ball where they wanted to catch the ball, no denial, no ball pressure. Just a lack of discipline and a lack of focus.

“Little Rock is a good ball club, but our issues today were us. It started in practice the day we came back from Georgia Tech. We’ve been telling them that this was a very good ball club, they’ve beaten some good teams. Maybe we came back from Georgia Tech thinking we were good all of a sudden. I told them we still have work to do. You can play well, but you still have to build on that, and I didn’t think we took advantage and built on a good game from Sunday.”

Sania Wells led Auburn with 11 points and Aicha Coulibaly added 10, but buckets were hard to come by for the Tigers as Auburn shot 32.2 percent (19-59) from the field. Honesty Scott-Grayson was Auburn’s leading rebounder with seven, but early foul trouble limited her offensive output and she finished with six points.

Auburn out-rebounded Little Rock 39-36 and converted 16 Trojan turnovers into 20 points, but the Trojans shot 45.8 percent from the field and were 3-of-9 from 3-point range.

After trailing for nearly the whole first half, Auburn closed on a 5-0 run to cut the halftime deficit to 27-24. A layup to open the third quarter got Auburn within a point, but Little Rock would go on 7-0 run over the next three-plus minutes to move back ahead by eight.

That lead would balloon to as many as 13 before Auburn closed the third quarter on a 4-0 run, trailing 43-34 headed to the fourth.

With Little Rock leading by 9, Auburn cut the deficit to 3 thanks to buckets from Coulibaly, Wells and Amoura Graves, getting within 50-47 with 2:28 to play. It was still a 3-point game with a minute to go, but Auburn was unable to convert a free-throw opportunity, and the Trojans knocked down five free throws in the final minute to secure the final margin.

Little Rock’s Sali Kourouma, the nation’s fourth-leading scorer, led all scorers with 16 points, and Krystan Vornes added 14 for the Trojans.

It’s another quick turnaround for the Tigers as they’ll be back on the floor in Auburn Arena at noon CT Friday to host Charleston Southern.

Source : Auburn tigers

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