Mitchell keeps South Carolina unbeaten in SEC play

AUBURN, Ala. -- When Tiffany Mitchell and the South Carolina Gamecocks found themselves down by double digits early in their road game at Auburn, they did not panic.

The Gamecocks simply clawed their way back into the game on what has gotten them to the Top 10 this season-- defense.

"We're the hunted at this point," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. "We knew Auburn would come out and play extremely well at home. We just had to keep our heads, stay calm and know that throughout the course of the game, there are going to be runs. We just had to wait for our run."

Mitchell had 18 points and six steals Sunday afternoon to lead No. 10 South Carolina to a 72-66 comeback victory at Auburn, who were held to just 11-of-31 shooting in the second half.

"We just decided to use our length some more and buckle down on defense," Mitchell said. "We're known as a defensive team, so we just stuck to the mindset of getting stops to free up our offense."

Alaina Coates added 14 points for the Gamecocks in the victory. The 6-foot-4 freshman center scored all of her points in the first half and shot 4-for-5 from the field.

Auburn (10-6, 1-2 SEC) led by as many as 12 points in the first half before a late rally from the visiting Gamecocks, who entered the game ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring defense.

South Carolina took its first lead of the game within in the first minute of the second half on an Asia Dozier 3-pointer. The Gamecocks extended their lead to 11 points before Auburn's guards pulled the Tigers to within five in the final minutes.

South Carolina, which shot 23-for-34 from the free throw line, hit some clutch foul shots in the final minute to hold onto the comeback victory.

After posting a season-low 7 points against Vanderbilt last Thursday, Auburn senior forward Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers offense with 16 points.

"South Carolina is a very good team-- you've got to beat them to get that win," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "Although we had chances and very good opportunities, we didn't do everything on every single possession to win the basketball game."