Auburn took a 33-22 lead into halftime, but could not build on that margin any in the second half after they shot 48 percent from the field in the first half. After the break, Auburn hit only 26 percent of its shots, but the Jaguars could not take advantage of the Tigers' poor shooting as they shot just 26 percent for the game.
Both teams were plagued by sloppy play as the Tigers turned the ball over 23 times to the Jaguars 21. Sophomore Tia Miller continued her solid play from opening night by contributing her first-career double-double. She scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to go with a team-high four assists.
"It's a good game to win because we had to play with a lot of apprehension in terms of can I count on you or can I count on me to make that shot or make that free throw or get that rebound," Coach Joe Ciampi said. "It was a good close game where you had to value every possession."
Carol Smith scored a game-high 15 points for the Tigers and added three assists and four rebounds. The senior point guard hit a big three-pointer in the second half after the Jaguars had cut the lead to single digits on a layup.
Southern got as close as seven points at 46-39 with 6:42 remaining but the Jaguars could not get any closer. Auburn won the battle on the boards 46-38, including grabbing 19 offensive rebounds. Miller had five of those.
Auburn was able to hold the Jaguars' top player, Jacklyn Winnfield, to just 3-of-17 shooting for nine points and Ciampi said that was a key factor in the game. Sophomore Le'Coe Willingham came off the bench to score 10 points.
Tia Miller contributed 14 points and 14 boards to go with a team-high six assists. Ciampi said he would like to see some of his younger players step up and take more shots when they are open. Freshman Nicole Louden and Natasha Brackett made just 2-of-14 shots as Louden went scoreless and Brackett added just five points.
The Tigers will play host to Charleston Southern on Friday in the Auburn Thanksgiving Classic at 1 p.m. and the second game of the four-team tournament features Stephen F. Austin vs. Chicago State at 3 p.m.