The Tigers (10-8, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) out-scored the Wildcats (13-4, 2-2 SEC) 44-26 in points in the paint and posted 13 blocks, including seven swats by SEC blocks leader Marita Payne. Four Auburn players registered double-figure point totals, led by freshman guard DeWanna Bonner's game-high 18. Guard Whitney Boddie followed with 14 points, while KeKe Carrier and Nitasha Brown added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Kentucky committed just nine turnovers in the game but only managed to shoot 29.9 percent (20-of-67) from the field. Ormerod had a string of 15 consecutive points to end the first period and begin the second period to pace the Wildcats. Senior forward/center Jennifer Humphrey (Memphis) brought down a team-high nine rebounds and added eight points.
"This is about as poor an offensive game as we have had all year and definitely defensively," UK Coach Mickie DeMoss said. "I was extremely disappointed in our defense. We let them own the paint in the first half and the second half. We did not do a good job of handling No. 33 (KeKe Carrier) and we let other people get loose upon us. It's a credit to Auburn. They came out ready to play and were hungrier than we were."
Kentucky, which trailed 36-26 at halftime, began chipping away at a 10-point Auburn lead with 4:55 remaining in the game. The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run to come within four, 57-53, with 3:05 remaining on a free-throw by Ormerod. The Tigers, however, used a 9-0 run from there to seal the victory.
Auburn out-rebounded the Cats 44-33 and Kentucky made just 5-of-19 three-point attempts.
After Kentucky opened the game by scoring the first six points, Auburn evened the score at 6-6 on a three-point play by Whitney Boddie with 16:02 remaining in the first half. The two teams continued to battle throughout much of the opening period. With the Wildcats leading 19-16 after a basket by sophomore center Sarah Elliott (McKee, Ky.), the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to take a 26-19 advantage with 4:30 left until halftime. The run was fueled by four points from KeKe Carrier. Two baskets by Ormerod near the close of the half brought Kentucky within 10, 36-26, at intermission.
"She was pretty amazing in that stretch were she scored 15 straight points," DeMoss said. "I think we kind of stood around and watched. Carly is a warrior and has been all year. She has that winning mentality that I need more of our players to have."
The Tigers shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) from the floor in the first half, while the Wildcats managed to hit just 31.4 percent (11-of-35) from the field. The Cats attempted 11 three-pointers in the opening period, but made just two of their shots from long distance.
The Wildcats continued to struggle offensively in the second half, quickly falling behind by 12, 46-34, with 15:16 remaining in the game on a pair of free throws by DeWanna Bonner. The Tigers continued to hold the advantage, taking a 50-38 lead into a media timeout with 11:51 left. Kentucky came within 10 points, 51-41, after a pair of free-throws by Pfeiffer with 9:41 remaining, but Auburn was able to extend their lead back out to 12 on a pair of free-throws of its own. Seven consecutive points by Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) brought the Cats within seven, 57-50, with 4:17 left, forcing Auburn coach Nell Fortner to call a late timeout. The Tigers, however, were able to regroup after having their lead trimmed to four with a late 9-0 run.
Kentucky returns to action Sunday when it travels to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Lady Rebels. Tip-off in the Tad Smith Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. EST and the game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.