AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jennifer O’Neill scored 16 points, Samarie Walker had 13 points and 10 rebounds and No. 10 Kentucky overcame a 13-point first-half deficit to beat Auburn 73-71 on Sunday.
The Wildcats (15-3, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) survived 13-of-29 shooting from the foul line to hold off the Tigers (11-6, 2-2).
Meagan Tucker hit a jumper with 1:07 left to bring Auburn within two points. The Wildcats worked 20 seconds off the clock and then called timeout. O’Neill missed two long jumpers in the final seconds, but Linnae Harper and Walker grabbed the offensive rebounds.
Walker missed two free throws with 6 seconds remaining. Tyrese Tanner, who scored 28 points, rebounded and threw it to Katie Frerking. O’Neill smothered her in the corner and Auburn couldn’t get a final shot off.
Harper also had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats. O’Neill made 4 of 11 3-pointers and had four assists and three steals.
Auburn’s No. 2 scorer, Hasina Muhammad, missed the game with an unspecified injury.
Tanner kept Auburn close with 17 points in the second half. She matched her career high in an SEC game.
Her sister, Tra’cee Tanner, scored 15 points for Auburn before fouling out with 12:26 left. Brandy Montgomery added 10 points but was 5 of 14 shooting and had seven turnovers.
Kentucky had won last season’s meeting 97-53, the most points ever scored against Auburn.
This time the Wildcats led by as many as nine midway through the second half after a sluggish start, but it still went down to the final moments.
They made just 8 of 19 free throws in the second half.
The Tigers held Kentucky to 17 points below its season average.
The Wildcats nearly wiped out the 13-point deficit before heading into halftime down 37-36. The Tigers built a 25-12 lead midway through the half but didn’t make a field goal over the final 3:30.
The Wildcats missed their first eight shots before Bria Goss scored on a drive four minutes into the game.