She hit two more 3s to start the second half and scored 20 points to send Tennessee on its way to an 81-72 win Sunday.
"I wasn't really worried when they got up because we've learned so much this year being on the road, being in tough situations, being down. We know we can come back from anything," Lawson said. "I was just waiting to get back on the floor and hoping that I would get another chance."
Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt got career win No. 799. On Tuesday against DePaul, she will try to be the first women's college basketball coach with 800 wins.
The Tigers (12-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) made it tough early for Tennessee (11-3, 1-0) to win its 41st consecutive league game at home.
Tennessee trailed nearly all of the first half and by as many as 14 points.
Lawson hit consecutive 3-pointers from the same spot on the wing off passes from Loree Moore to start the second half and give the Lady Vols a 40-39 lead.
"When you have a great player like Kara knocking down 3s, it extends the court. I credit her other four teammates on the court as well for setting the screens that gave her several good looks," Auburn coach Joe Ciampi said. "Her shooting gave Tennessee a lot of energy."
The Tigers kept it close, cutting the lead to 50-49 with about 13 minutes left. But Auburn never tied it or went ahead after that.
Pat Summitt will try to become the first women's college basketball coach with 800 wins Tuesday against DePaul.
The Lady Vols took over with a 15-0 run over the next four minutes in which Lawson hit two more 3s. Brittany Jackson capped it with two free throws to give Tennessee a 65-49 lead with 8:31 left.
Lawson played 12 minutes of the first half but was on the bench during Auburn's early run.
"I wanted to play Kara less minutes in the first half than I have been playing her. But when we got down and she had two fouls, it was just a decision I had to make, and I put her back in," Summitt said.
Reserve Shyra Ely scored 15 points, while Ashley Robinson had 11 points and nine rebounds. Moore had eight assists.
Natasha Brackett led Auburn with 23 points. Le'Coe Willingham had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Summitt said she got a bad feeling about the team's lack of energy after watching Tennessee's sluggish morning shootaround.
"I wasn't surprised at all but disappointed," she said. "We're just fortunate we were able to come back and get a W."
After trailing through the first half, Tennessee increased its defensive pressure with a full-court press, and Lawson hit a 3 - her only points of the half - to ignite a spurt.
Ely finished the run with a layup to cut it to 35-32 with less than a minute until the break. Marita Payne's layup at the halftime buzzer to push Auburn's lead back to 39-34.