The Red Storm now has a record of 5-2 while the Tigers improved to 6-3.
St. John’s bench outscored Auburn’s 14-4 and the Red Storm shot 58.3 from the field in the second half and scored 34 points in the paint overall but could not notch its second away victory of the season.
The Tigers held St. John’s to a season low in halftime and total points, and turned 22 Red Storm turnovers into 22 points while shooting 50 percent for the game.
“I thought Auburn did a good job of doing the things they do well,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I’ve got some younger players who haven’t seen that type of pressure before, and I thought that showed a little bit today.”
Sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford, the country’s ninth leading scorer entering Friday’s game, netted a team-high 18 points on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Handford, who added four rebounds and three assists, has scored at least 18 points in each of the first seven games of the season.
Freshman point guard Aaliyah Lewis added eight points, four assists and two steals for St. John’s, while classmate Jade Walker hit on both of her field goal attempts to finish with a career-high four points off the Red Storm bench.
Auburn would remain undefeated in four games at Auburn Arena thanks in part to 28 points from junior Hasina Muhammad.
Up next, the Red Storm returns to Queens to host the St. John’s Chartwells Holiday Classic, taking on Drexel on Saturday, Dec. 14, and James Madison on Sunday, Dec. 15.