Trevesha Jackson added 11 points for the Tigers, who will try to bounce back with a game at Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday.
"The one encouraging thing was how the players fought and got themselves back in the ball game," said Auburn coach Nell Fortner, whose team cut a 13-point halftime deficit to 45-44 with 9:05 left in the game. However, Auburn couldn't push over the top and couldn't take a lead.
Fortner said the Tigers missed too many layups and had too many turnovers in the second half to win the road game. In the final six minutes Auburn turned the ball over six times and made just one field goal.
Auburn hit just 31.7 percent of its field goals and turned the ball over 18 times.
George Washington shot 39.7 percent and turned the ball over just eight times. Kenan Cole led the Colonials with 15 points.
Auburn nine points and eight rebounds from Keke Carrier. The Tigers held a 49-37 rebounding edge.