TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Kenny Hasbrouck scored 30 points, Tay Fisher added 19 on 6-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, and 13th-seeded Siena stunned No. 4 Vanderbilt 83-62 Friday night in the first round of the Midwest Regional. For complete postgame coverage of the game including interviews, quotes and photos, Click Here.
FRIDAY, MARCH 21 Posted at 10:17 AM
It's Gameday! We've got you covered on everything you need to know about VU's first round opponent - the Siena Saints. And for fans in Tampa for the game, make sure you stop by the alumni event near the Forum at 5 p.m. to pick up your Tourney Towel. See the alumni event info at the top of the page.
VU GAME PREVIEW
Vanderbilt, the #4 seed in the Midwest Regional, takes on the MAAC Tournament champion Siena Saints, the #13 seed, Friday evening at 6:20 CST at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The game will be televised by CBS, with Tim Brando and Mike Gminksi calling the action, and the contest can be heard on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the call.
JOE FISHER'S FRIDAY UPDATE
Download Joe Fisher's latest NCAA update on this morning's 104.5 Wake Up Zone.
TIDBITS FROM SIENA'S GAME NOTES
Siena will make their fourth NCAA appearance Friday following a meteoric rise from last to first in the MAAC in the three years since head coach Fran McCaffery's arrival.
If this is your first time seeing Siena, buckle up. McCaffery's motion offense and pressure defense make for an exciting brand of basketball with plenty of points the goal each night. The high-powered Saints feature a dynamic offense led by three players (Ubiles, Hasbrouck and Franklin) who each average more than 15 points per game. Just one senior appears on the 2008 postseason roster.
Here's a look at the Saints lineup:
Sophomore point guard Ronald Moore (8.7 ppg, 5.3 apg) efficiently runs the Saints' attack, pushing the basketball off makes and misses and involving all the players on the floor.
Classmate Edwin Ubiles (17.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg) is one of the league's most talented players. The high-flying, above-the-rim talent has had a masterful sophomore campaign, reaching double figures 31 of the 32 times he took the floor. He's has averaged 19.6 points over the last 10 games.
Junior Kenny Hasbrouck (15.6 ppg, 2.3 spg) is the most experienced starter and was McCaffery's first recruit. Hasbrouck has a smooth game, and like Ubiles he is at his best off the bounce and in transition. Hasbrouck was named MAAC Tournament MVP after averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in Siena's three wins.
The biggest X factor this season has been the emergence of sophomore forward Alex Franklin (15.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg). Franklin is the team's go-to man inside, plays well above his 6-5 size and is an excellent finisher around the basket. He missed five games with a lingering back injury but has been at his best in recent weeks. He has averaged 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds over the last nine games.
The lone starter not mentioned is junior Josh Duell (5.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg) who has the only NCAA Tournament experience on the team. Duell helped  Vermont knock off  Syracuse in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. He has showed a tremendous ability to perform under pressure. He was the key in the team's signature win over Stanford and has two game-winning shots to his credit - the most recent in the MAAC semifinals against nemesis Loyola.
Lone senior Tay Fisher (7.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg) has had a storybook end to his career. Fisher is the only holdover from the 2004-2005 team that set a program record with 24 losses...He helped put an exclamation mark on the Saints' dramatic turnaround with a 21-point performance in Siena's 74-53 MAAC title game win over Rider. He enters the NCAA Tournament with 222 career 3's, ranking fourth all-time at Siena.
More Notes: Siena has turned the ball over just 11.1 times per game... The Saints rank in the top-20 nationally (tied for 11th) with 9.4 steals per game led by Hasbrouck's 2.3 spg... Siena is 9-0 when holding its opponent under 40% FG... The Saints are shooting 38% from 3-point range and have five players with 20 or more 3-pointers. Siena is 18-2 when attempting fewer than 20 3-pointers...The Saints are just 4-8 when attempting 20 or more.
VANDERBILT'S QUOTES ON SIENA
SHAN FOSTER: "They're relatively short in terms of, you know, their big men.
I think they're big men are like 6' 7", 6' 6", 6' 9", you know, they like to push the ball and drive and attack the basket.
They have three guys that can score pretty well.
I think it's going to be imperative that our team defense be really, really good in terms of helping each other, and supporting the drive and
keeping the ball in front and things of that sort."
ALEX GORDON: "We definitely feel we'll have a few advantages inside with A.J., and Ross and Alan.
And we'll try to get those guys the balls when they're in scoring position, and try to take advantage of those things.
But, you know, they're a good team. Coach Stallings said that they're going to be well coached.
And so we realize that we're going to have to come up with good shots. We need to just move the ball, and just do what we do."
COACH STALLINGS: "The thing I really like about their team is they've got really good balance, they've got three guys that can get 25 or 30, which, you know, most teams are happy to have one guy that can do that; they have three. I think Ronald Moore is, and I'm biased, obviously, because of my affection for the Moore family, but I think he's a terrific player for them. So they've got really good point guard play, and they've got three guys that can just blitz you on any night. Then their ability to create turnovers with their defense and the things that they do defensively are problematic as well. So they're just a very, very impressive team, a team that is obviously well coached and has a great idea of their scheme and what they're trying to accomplish."
((Note, if you're looking for pictures from Thursday's practice, scroll down and see the post made earlier tonight at 7:15 p.m.))
The main theme of Thursday's press conference dealt with Vanderbilt being the popular pick to be upset in the tournament by 13th-seeded Siena. In its previous two tourney appearances that resulted in Sweet 16's (2004 & 2007), the Commodores were also considered ripe for the upset in the opening round as a sixth seed.
Are the Commodores just not getting the credit they deserve?
"You know, that's something that I haven't been able to understand either," responded senior guard Shan Foster. "Last year we felt like we had a pretty good team, and had beaten the most ranked teams that season. And this year we've beaten a number of quality opponents. You know, we've won 26 games. We're not a 4 seed, but by a miracle, you know. We're confident that we're going to go in and execute our game plan and give it all we've got and come out with a victory. Really, that's all that matters."
Senior forward Ross Neltner also weighed in on the topic:
"Like Shan was saying, we didn't fall into a 4 seed. We worked our way in, won 26 games in the SEC.
So we're going to go out and prove ourselves like we had to last year against all the doubters."
Siena's Tay Fisher knows that upsetting the Commodores would be another big step for the Saints' rejuvenated program.
"It would definitely mean a lot, because this is an opportunity that's not guaranteed," said Fisher. "We work hard to get here. Not many people know about us. Many people can't even spell Siena, many people don't even know where it's at. So we definitely want to be able to go out there and play our hardest and put a win for our program into the second round."
No matter what the critics say, in the end, it's all decided on the court, as both head coaches reminded everyone of Thursday.
"If people want to pick other teams, and they did so last year, and if they want to pick other teams now, it's okay. None of that matters," said Coach Stallings. "What matters is how we play. Siena's got a very good basketball team. Very well coached basketball team. And we know we're going to have to play well. But when you get to this stage... the games are going to be competitive and going to be hard fought and going to be played by two good teams. We know that's the kind of contest that we've got in front of us."
Siena Coach Fran McCaffery agreed.
"The bottom line is when the tournament starts, everybody is zero and zero, as simple as that sounds," stated McCaffery. "Doesn't matter what our seed is, doesn't matter what Vanderbilt's seed is. What matters is what happens at 7:20 tomorrow night."
Read the entire transcripts from Thursday's press conference at the links below:
Media day has come and gone.
The Commodores participated in a relaxed 45-minute shooting session for the fans at the St. Pete Times Forum. The session concluded with the entire team shooting half court shorts to the delight of the spectators in the stands. Take a look at pictures from the entire practice at the link below.
Less than 24 hours until the big game. Stay tuned for more coverage from the road.
THURSDAY, MARCH 20 Posted at 1:33 PM
MORE ROAD PICTURES
We just arrive at a local college for today's practice session. Here are a few photos of the team getting off the bus, plus a couple of attractions we passed on the way to practice. 'Dores Arrive at Practice
Once practice concludes, then we're off to the St. Pete Times Forum for media day and an open practice for the fans. Stick with us for updates later tonight!
JOE FISHER'S THURSDAY UPDATE
Download Joe Fisher's latest NCAA update on this morning's 104.5 Wake Up Zone. Listen
First, make sure you check out The Scene's feature on senior sharpshooter Shan Foster. Mr. Big Shot
ESPN.com gave Foster some love yesterday, too, with four of six panelists calling him the best go-to shooter in the game. More
You can check out his most memorable go-to performance on YouTube - 42 Points. This video never gets old.
The Vanderbilt men's basketball team officially arrived in Tampa around 9:55 p.m. ET Wednesday night. After checking into the hotel, the players were treated to a team snack before calling it a night.
The team will participate in the NCAA's media day Thursday at the St. Pete Times Forum, which consists of a press conference as well as an open practice for fans from 4:25 - 5:05 p.m. ET. If you're in the Tampa area, stop by the Forum to watch the 'Dores shootaround. The players usually sign autographs following the session before heading back to the team hotel.
Here are a few photos of the Commodores' journey to Florida earlier tonight. DAY ONE PHOTOS
Check back for updates from the road!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19 Posted at 1:07 PM
Almost time for March Madness! Both Vanderbilt and Siena will travel to Tampa today with only two days until tipoff. Here are some mid-afternoon updates to keep you busy during the work day.
VOTE FOR MR. C
There are critics across the country deciding who will advance in their brackets.. whether it's the so-called experts or the people at the morning water cooler. Well, the Chicago Tribune has a neat feature where fans can decide who will win based on the mascots of each team. Of course, we need your votes for the best one of all --- Mr. C.
SUBMIT YOUR MESSAGE
Thanks to all the fans that have sent in their messages online for both the men's and women's basketball teams. You can read what the rest of the Commodore Nation has to say... and if you haven't submitted your thoughts, then Click Here!
Watch some free video highlights of our first round opponent - the Siena Saints. Pay attention to #23 Edwin Ubiles (17.3 ppg) and #41 Kenny Hasbrouck (15.6 ppg), the Saints' top two scorers. There are several clips of them taking their defenders off the dribble for nice baskets. And check back for some extended notes on Siena in the next day or two.
JOE FISHER'S WEDNESDAY UPDATE
Download Joe Fisher's latest NCAA update on this morning's 104.5 Wake Up Zone. Listen
AMATO'S FEATURE STORY
First, make sure you check out Jarred Amato's feature on how Shan Foster and Alex Gordon have been two of the key figures in changing the identity of the Commodores program (click to read). Here's a quote from Shan in the article:
"I joke with people from time to time, saying that when I was recruited by Coach Stallings and coach (Jeff) Jackson, who's at Furman right now, the first time I met them I had never heard of Vanderbilt... Like ever."
With three NCAA tournament appearances in the last five years, I think it's safe to say that the program is back on the national map.
STALLINGS DISCUSSES MATCHUP ON 104.5
Also, Coach Stallings was on the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Tuesday morning... and you can download the audio for free on VUcommodores.com ( Click to Listen). Coach talked about the importance of Gordon on the offensive end if the Commodores want to find success in tournament play.
"Red's been good in practice thus far this week. He's a really good competitor and a difference maker for us, a little bit like Dan Cage was last year. When Dan would shoot the ball well and when he was on, it made us a different team because generally speaking, Derrick and Shan were going to do there part and Dan was kind of our third scorer. That's sort of the role Red has this year. The good thing is that if Red isn't on, there have been nights where Jermaine (Beal) has stepped up and Ross (Neltner) has stepped up. Really what we need are two of those three guys to be point-producing guys in this tournament so that the burden doesn't always fall on Shan (Foster) or A.J. (Ogilvy)."
In Sunday's press conference (
Coach talked about VU's third and fourth scoring options, but said the Commodores' intensity on the boards was more of a concern during the postseason:
"I'm not worried about where our points are going to come from, I'm more concerned about our rebounding and sustained defensive intensity. If we get those two things right, then our offense will take care of itself."
Neltner then commented about the 'Dores lack of intensity on the boards in their loss to Arkansas last week in Atlanta (outrebounded, 45-24), but explained that it's fixable and something they would address in practice:
"When we played in Fayetteville they were the same team two weeks prior and didn't hurt us on the boards. It's just a mindset and effort... You have to want to get stops and rebounds. That's what we'll continue to think about in practice leading into the tournament."
To follow Ross' point, Vanderbilt did outrebound Arkansas in Fayetteville, especially on the offensive glass, 13-4.
SIENA COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY'S COMMENTS
Finally, if you don't know a lot about Siena, here's a good interview with their head coach Fran McCaffery on the Mike and the Mad Dog radio show.
Here are a couple of notes from the interview:
McCaffery knows the Saints will have their hands full w/ Ogilvy.
"Watching Vanderbilt on film, they're a very impressive three-point shooting team... The thing that will give us a problem is their big kid in the middle. A.J. Ogilvy is a very good player. You have to figure out how you're going to defend him with a 6'7 center (Josh Duell) and then also get out and pressure the three-point shooters. They get you spread out. Kevin Stallings is a terrific coach... We're going to have to play really well.
Siena likes to pressure the ball... expect the same Friday.
"We're gonna make them (Vanderbilt) earn it. We'll get after them a little bit. We'll press them, we'll trap them, we'll change defenses, we'll try to disrupt their rhythm a little bit. We'll have to pay attention to the really good players like Shan Foster... We have to make sure we know where he is at all times.
McCaffrey promises to change defenses throughout the game, but expect Siena to play mostly man-to-man rather than zone, except for lineup situations like when Ogilvy is the key scorer and VU's outside shooting threats are on the bench. The Saints will also use their quickness to pressure the ball on defense by applying 3/4 court pressure and also a man-to-man full court press.
"We're not going to sit in a zone, we're going to take the game to them... We're going into this game thinking man-to-man absolutely."
We've gotten our 22 wins by pressuring the ball, so there's no reason to change now."
TUESDAY, MARCH 18 Posted at 12:38 PM
JOE FISHER'S TUESDAY UPDATE
Joe Fisher talked with the 104.5 Wake Up Zone this morning to talk Commodore basketball. Download to
Also, SECsports.com has posted an audio link from Monday's coaches teleconference. Coach Stallings was the last coach to speak to the media, so fast forward to the 1:14:30 mark. Click to listen
Check back for more updates!
MONDAY, MARCH 17 Posted at 1:12 PM
If you missed last night's press conference with Coach Stallings, Shan Foster and Ross Neltner, then check it out for free in All Access.
In the press conference, Stallings talked about why this year's squad deserved the four seed they were given by the selection committee:
"I think that we deserved it if they gave it to us. We won nine of our last 12 games. That was the number that was thrown out there that they were going to use. They were going to use your last 12 games. We've lost three of our last five, but we've also won nine of our last 12. The bottom line is when you finish at Arkansas, Mississippi State at home, at Alabama and play Arkansas again, those teams in those venues are tough teams. We had lost our last two last year coming into the tournament and it didn't seem to affect us."
Here were his early thoughts on the matchup with Siena:
"I've known their coach for a long time. He and I were assistants back in the Midwest together. He's always done a really good job wherever he's been. I've had a chance to see a little bit of tape already and they look like a very well coached, very high energy basketball team with some guys that can make shots and can make plays off the dribble. They have a lot of really good players and a lot of really good pieces. When you get to this point, every team you're going to play is going to be a good team. We'll embrace the fact that we've got a tough team to play and certainly try to get ready for the challenge."
Making their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the fourth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores (26-7) will face the 13-seeded Siena Saints (22-10) in a first-round Midwest Regional match-up on Friday, March 21 in Tampa, Fla. Read More Plus Ticket Info.
Also, watch a free live webcast of Coach Stallings' press conference Sunday night at 8 p.m. CT concerning the Commodores' 2008 NCAA Tournament draw.
Watch Press Conference
MIDWEST FIRST ROUND BRACKET:
Tampa, Fla. - Friday, March 21, 2008
4 Vanderbilt (26-7)
13 Siena (22-10)
5 Clemson (24-9)
12 Villanova (20-12)
FRIDAY, MARCH 14 Posted at 7:04 PM
SEC SECOND ROUND FINAL
[W2] Arkansas 81
[E3] Vanderbilt 75 Box |
Darian Townes and Gary Ervin each scored 18 points and Arkansas dominated No. 18 Vanderbilt inside, winning 81-75 Friday to advance to the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals. Read More
AMATO COLUMN: Slumped in a locker-room chair following his team's 81-75 loss to Arkansas, senior point guard Alex Gordon did not attempt to hide his disappointment. The Commodores had hoped to win the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles, yet won neither, and now must regroup before the Big Dance begins Thursday. Read More
EXTRA VU TIDBITS:
Vanderbilt had only nine field goals in the first half but stayed close with a 16-3 advantage in made free throws...
On the day, the Razorbacks captured the rebounding, 45-24; second-chance points, 20-6; and points in the paint, 50-20.
Shan Foster limited Arkansas' leading scorer Sonny Weems to 1-for-9 shooting from the field...
By scoring 22 points, Alex Gordon became the 38th player in school history to reach 1,000 points in his career. He now has 1,001 points as a Commodore...
With two three-pointers today, Foster now has 366 three-pointers in his career, tying Arkansas' Pat Bradley for second place in SEC history for
COACH STALLINGS: "We just got beaten badly on the boards, and we gave them way too many second opportunities and third opportunities and fourth opportunities. So that was the difference in the game. They just pounded us on the boards, which is disappointing, and our offense isn't good enough to recover, or cover, for when they get more of their misses than we do. That's a total breakdown on our part, but they played better than we did, and that's the story of the game."
ALEX GORDON (on confidence going into NCAAs after a loss): "We've obviously got some work to do as far as like our defense, like our Coach said, but we're not going to lose any confidence. At the end of the day, it's basketball. We've just got to keep the confidence no matter what. We're a good team, we've just got to go to the drawing board and come up with the game plan that Coach gives us."
SHAN FOSTER (on the NCAAs):
"We've got some things to work on. We have to go back to practice and continue to work hard and get better at the things we didn't do so well at
today and head into the NCAA Tournament with our heads held high and ready to play."
"I'm proud of our guys. I thought outside of fouling way too much in the first half, I thought we played pretty good basketball, and it was team basketball. We were able to take care of it, keep our turnovers down, had five guys in double figures, and when certain guys had to go off the floor, other guys stepped up. I thought Stefan Welsh gave us a huge lift, I thought Charles Rhodes was big for us, Gary stepped up, Darian had a big game for us offensively, it was good to get Steve back on the floor in the second half, makes our defense a lot different."
GARY ERVIN (on the game):
"We just wanted to come out with a sense of urgency to win a basketball game.
That was the only thing that was on our minds. This is just something we wish we could have done throughout the whole season,
to play smart basketball and play with that intensity and that urgency to win basketball games."
DARIAN TOWNES (on possibly locking up a NCAA bid):
"We're not worrying about what people are saying on television. We come here for one thing, to win the whole thing. We got past one. The first game is always tough, and we've got another one tomorrow against Tennessee."
SATURDAY'S SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE (TV: Raycom Sports)
G9: [E1] Tennessee vs. [W2] Arkansas 12 p.m. CT
G10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner 2:15 p.m. CT
ATLANTA - The 18/17th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores, the number three seed in the SEC East, will take on the number two seed in the SEC West,
Arkansas, Friday afternoon at 2:15 CST at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. The game will be televised regionally by Raycom Sports
and can also be heard on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson taking care of announcing duties on the radio side.
JOE FISHER'S FRIDAY UPDATE
Joe Fisher talked with the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Friday morning about the second round matchup with the Razorbacks. Download to
THE ARKANSAS SERIES
Arkansas leads the all-time series 13-7, including a 8-1 advantage in Fayetteville and a 2-0 lead at neutral sites. Vanderbilt leads the series in Nashville,
6-4... Arkansas has won eight of the last 11 meetings, and four in a row, including a 78-73 decision on March 1, 2008, in Fayetteville... Arkansas
defeated VU, 72-71, in 2007 SEC Tournament on March 9... The Razorbacks are 11-6 against the Commodores since joining the SEC in 1992...
Kevin Stallings is 2-7 against Arkansas, with his last win against the Razorbacks coming on Feb. 19, 2005, in a 79-65 win at Memorial Gym.
SEC FIRST ROUND FINAL
[E3] Vanderbilt 93
[W6] Auburn 82 Box |
Shan Foster played like the Southeastern Conference player of the year. Andrew Ogilvy was even better.
Ogilvy scored a career-best 27 points and Foster added 26 after being named the top player on the coaches' All-SEC team earlier
in the week, leading No. 18 Vanderbilt past Auburn 93-82 in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday.
EXTRA VU TIDBITS:
Vanderbilt led 47-34 at halftime, shooting a blazing 76 percent in the opening period. The 47 points are Vanderbilt's most in the first half against an SEC opponent this season...
Auburn got as close as five in the second half, 61-56, before Vanderbilt went on a 10-0 run to lead 71-56. The Commodores led comfortably the rest of the way...
VU's 93 points is the most the Commodores have ever scored in an SEC Tournament game. Their previous best came in an 88-52 win over Tennessee in the 1951 tourney.
COACH STALLINGS: "Well, I thought that certainly when you look and A.J. is 12 for 13 and Shan is 9 for 14, the proficiency is awfully good. But I thought the key to that today was we really made an emphasis with our team not to take quick threes and make a few extra passes and see if could put the ball in A.J.'s hands. And I think as a result not only did A.J. touch it more but Shan touched it more. Our team bought into that, they did it, they executed it, and the best news was they did it with a smile on their face."
A.J. OGILVY (on size advantage against Auburn): "As soon as we came out I had a couple good looks and I was in pretty good position. Prowell got into foul trouble, they had some issues trying to get good players in there, and my teammates did a good job of getting the ball to me in easy scoring position, so that was the biggest asset."
SHAN FOSTER (on rematch with Arkansas):
"Well, they're a great team and they're definitely well-coached. I think they have one of the biggest big men in this league, and they do a good job of pressuring and doing a lot of different things. Unfortunately we haven't had great success against them, but we look forward to a great game tomorrow. We know they're going to be amped up and ready to play, and we will, too."
COACH LEBO (on size mismatch): "It was hard for our kids against Ogilvy in there. He's got savvy, he's got great hands and his body is so big. It kind of reminds me of playing in my backyard against my six-year-old son. I can score on him whenever I want (laughter)."
RASHEEM BARRETT: "There's never satisfaction in losing. There's always something you can do better. I mean, I played pretty way around the game, but obviously I didn't do good enough. We didn't do good enough as a team."
FRANK TOLBERT (on battling Ogilvy): "I mean, it's tough. He's, what, 6'11", 260, 280, and it was just tough because I'm just so small, and it's just as much as I can do to keep him from getting the ball. It's just a tough job down there."
THURSDAY, MARCH 13 Posted at 9:04 AM
It's gameday. For all the links you need to track today's game (2:15 p.m. CT) including Joe Fisher's online radio call, live stats, etc., please see the info above. Raycom Sports will also provide a free live webcast of the SEC Tournament's first round action - Click Here.
Joe Fisher talked with the 104.5 Wake Up Zone this morning about today's matchup. Download to
And here are some articles from around the web on the game:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 Posted at 4:58 PM
The team just finished Wednesday's practice in Atlanta followed by the official SEC tournament press conference.
Here are some links and notes to get you ready for Thursday's matchup:
GAME PREVIEW Vanderbilt, the number three seed in the SEC East, will take on the number six seed in the SEC West, Auburn,
Thursday afternoon at 2:15 CST at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. The game will be televised regionally by Raycom Sports,
with Tom Hammond and Larry Conley handling the play-by-play and color duties. Read More
WEDNESDAY'S SEC PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Coach Stallings, Shan Foster and A.J. Ogilvy discussed Thursday's game with the national media during Wednesday's pre-tournament press conference.
Click for Transcript
Vanderbilt is 6-11 all-time in the SEC tournament when it is held in Georgia...
The Commodores reached the ten-win mark in SEC play, making it the first time Vanderbilt has posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in SEC play since 1987-88 and 1988-89...
VU is one of only two teams in the SEC (Arkansas) to have at least three seniors
averaging over 15.0 minutes per contest (Foster, Gordon and Neltner)...
The Commodores 282 made 3-pointers this season rank as the second-most in school history behind only the 2006 squad (322)...
Vanderbilt's ranks tenth in the nation in assists per game...
Shan Foster is only 42 points shy of the 2,000-point barrier. He would be only the 22nd player in SEC history to score 2,000 points...
Alex Gordon currently has 965 points in his career, only 35 points away from the 1,000-point club...
VU is 18-0 when leading at halftime this season, as well as 16-0 when they score 80 or more points. When the Commodores outrebound their opponent, they are 11-1 (note - Vanderbilt outrebounded Auburn 38-31 in January's 78-71 victory at Memorial Gym).
COACH STALLINGS: "No, and maybe that's the way to do it, but that's not how we do it. We'll go and we'll do whatever we have to do to win on Thursday.
If that means Shan has got to play 38 minutes, then Shan will play 38 minutes if he can. And there won't be any self-preservation going on because you can't win four
if you don't win one. So that will be our objective, to win tomorrow. Then we'll recover, and hopefully our depth will play well and allow us to play our starters
less in the games. But I don't see any scenario where we would substitute more or play guys less because we might be here until Sunday or something like that.
We'll just try to win tomorrow's game and then worry about Friday if we're able to accomplish tomorrow's objective."
SHAN FOSTER: "I think it's important to us as a group and as a whole to have a good showing in this tournament. Unfortunately last year we didn't have great success, so we have an opportunity to do something that Coach mentioned, and that is be able to finish. You're always remembered about how you finish at the end of the year, and we definitely have a great opportunity to go out and do that."
A.J. OGILVY (on foul trouble): "I just have to be smarter playing with fouls, not commit so many fouls down the stretch and not to commit too many early fouls in the first half. Coach talked to me about it, and I just learned that I have to be a bit smarter with the way I play when I have fouls."
Auburn is 1-3 (.250) in SEC Tournament play under Jeff Lebo. The Tigers upset Vanderbilt 77-73 in the first round of the 2005 tournament...
The Tigers are 6-1 against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament with the Commodores defeating the Tigers 76-71 in the 2006 first round in the teams' most recent game in the tournament...
Auburn is 0-6 vs. the SEC's Eastern Division this season...
AU is shooting a frigid 23.4 percent from 3-point range (18-of-77) in its last three losses (South Carolina, Georgia and at Arkansas) ...
Frank Tolbert scored a career-high 32 points, including 26 in the second half, in Auburn's 78-71 loss at Vanderbilt Feb. 2. In the second half alone, Tolbert went 8-of-12 from the fi eld, 5-of-6 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 from the foul line. He also had a team-high 8 rebounds to go along with 2 assists and 2 steals...
Quan Prowell is among the SEC's best since Jan. 26 as he is sixth in the SEC in scoring (18.0), third in 3-point fi eld goal pct. (.466, 27-of-58) and is sixth in fi eld goal pct. (.548, 80-of-146)...
Quantez Robertson is ranked second in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio (2.28), second in steals (2.10) and is seventh in assists (4.17)...
Robertson has played all but four minutes in four of Auburn's last five games and leads the SEC with 37.45 mpg. Four more Tigers are ranked in the top 30
in the SEC in that category (Reed, Prowell, Tolbert and Barber).
COACH LEBO: "In our first game with Vanderbilt I think it was a six-point game with about two minutes to go.
Our first half we did not play particularly well. Second half we made shots, and Frank Tolbert was unbelievable.
He had 32 points in that game. That half was the way we have to play.
We have to shoot the ball well. We haven't had many games where we've put two halves together.
For whatever reason, I don't know, maybe it's fatigue, maybe it's lack of depth, it's hard to do,
but I think our kids had confidence going into that game. It's a very tough place to play. They're 19 and 0 at home. When we went in there, obviously we were still undefeated,
but they jumped on us pretty good in the first half and we just had to fight and claw to get back into the game."
QUAN PROWELL: "I think it's become clear to us that there isn't a next year, so the last few games you want to go out with a bang."
FRANK TOLBERT: "Even though we haven't got a lot of wins in the SEC, we played a lot of teams close, so I feel if we come out and play our "A" game that we can come in and shock a lot of people."
Also, Coach Stallings spoke with the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Tuesday morning to talk Commodore basketball.
Download free audio -
Even though Joe Lunardi doesn't have the final say on what the 'Dores NCAA seeding will be, it's still fun to take a glance at his daily bracket predictions. He currently has the Commodores as a sixth seed, the same rank VU had in their previous two Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2004 and 2007. While we might not agree with this ranking for this year's 25-6 squad, it's worth pointing out that if Vanderbilt can put together a strong performance at the SECs this weekend, it could impact their selection Sunday seeding in a positive way. Lunardi's Bracket Guess
Finally, Brett Hait from the City Paper writes about the recent struggles of Vanderbilt's backcourt. Hait points out that
guards Alex Gordon and Jermaine Beal have made only nine of 48 field goals and seven of 31 3-pointers over the past three games.
Read the rest of Brett's article - Click Here.
Check back for regular updates during the week!
SATURDAY, MARCH 8 Posted at 8:13 PM
The 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament bracket is officially set. Since Vanderbilt dropped their final regular season game at Alabama earlier today, the Commodores will enter as the third seed in the East, and will open play Thursday against Auburn, the sixth seed from the West.
This will be the third meeting in four years between the two teams at the SEC tourney. In 2005, Toney Douglas scored 23 points to lead the Tigers to a 77-73 upset victory. The Commodores returned the favor the following year with a 76-71 win behind Derrick Byars' 21 points including five 3-pointers.
If you haven't made your plans to attend the tournament at the Georgia Dome, then what are you waiting for!!?? Call 615.322.GOLD for ticket information or click here.
Here's the official bracket:
2008 SEC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
March 13-16 * Georgia Dome * Atlanta, Georgia
Thursday, March 13
Game 1: [E5] South Carolina vs. [W4] LSU at 12:00 CT
Game 2: [W6] Auburn vs. [E3] Vanderbilt at 2:15 CT
Game 3: [W5] Alabama vs. [E4] Florida at 6:30 CT
Game 4: [E6] Georgia vs. [W3] Ole Miss at 8:45 CT
Friday, March 14
Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. [E1] Tennessee at 12:00 CT
Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. [W2] Arkansas at 2:15 CT
Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. [W1] Mississippi State at 6:30 CT
Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs. [E2] Kentucky at 8:45 CT
Saturday, March 15
Game 9 Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner at 12:00 CT
Game 10 Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner at 2:15 CT
Sunday, March 16
Game 11 Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner at 12:00 CT
FRIDAY, MARCH 7 Posted at 5:42 AM
The 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament is only a week away. Fresh off its thrilling 86-85 overtime victory over Mississippi State, the 'Dores will travel to Alabama Saturday (1 p.m. CT on Raycom Sports) in the final game of the regular season conference schedule.
Vanderbilt (25-5, 10-5) is still battling for its tourney seed next week in Atlanta. If the Commodores defeat the Crimson Tide, and Florida beats Kentucky at Rupp Sunday (Noon CT CBS), then VU will earn the Eastern Division two seed -- which would mean a first round bye next Thursday in Atlanta and a second round matchup with the winner of the W3/E6 at 8:45 CT Friday. If Vanderbilt drops its game at Alabama, or Kentucky knocks off the Gators, the 'Dores will open SEC Tourney play Thursday as the Eastern Division's third seed and will face the sixth seed from the Western Division at 2:15 p.m. CT.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Top-seeded Maryland enters Saturday's regional semifinal matchup with Vanderbilt after defeating Nebraska, 76-64, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last Tuesday. The Terrapins only shot 33.3 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 34-33 going into the locker rooms. Maryland pulled away late in the second half with a 11-3 run in the last five minutes to secure the victory. Crystal Langhorne had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman each added 19 points and six rebounds.
Maryland will be making its second Sweet 16 appearance in three seasons. UM's roster is comprised of eight upperclassmen including five seniors. Four starters from this year's team (excluding Strickland) started on the Terrapins' 2006 National Championship squad. Six players have participated in at least 10 tournament games.
Maryland has two of the best players in the nation at their respective positions. Senior center/forward Crystal Langhorne is one of four players in ACC history to score 2,200 points and grab 1,200 career rebounds. The ACC Player of the Year is a consistent force down low, recording a team-high 15 double-doubles on the year. Langhorne also hits a high percentage of her shots, standing second in the nation in field goals at 65 percent.
Junior point guard Kristi Toliver controls Maryland's high-scoring offense. The ACC First Team recipient is fourth in the nation with 7.5 assists per game. Toliver broke the ACC's single-season assist record this year (262 so far), a mark which had stood for 30 years. She's also averaging career-bests in points per game (16.9) and 3-pointers made (75). She has success from the free throw line, too, converting on 86 percent of her attempts (135-157).
Maryland is the top shooting team in the nation, ranking first in field goal shooting at almost 50 percent.
The Terrapins average the second most points per game in the nation at 82.2 with over 80 percent of its points coming from the starting lineup.
UM is one of only two teams in NCAA history to have four players on their roster with over 1,300 career points.
In addition to Langhorne and Toliver, Marissa Coleman and Laura Harper also score in double figures in points with 16.0 and 14.3 respectively.
The Terps also rank 10th in the nation in three-point percentage and have three players (Toliver, Coleman and Strickland) with at least 44 trifecta's on the year.
Maryland has led the nation as a team in rebounding the last two seasons. The Terps have outrebounded their opponents in 30 games this year.
UM has three of the top seven rebounders in the ACC -- Langhorne (9.4), Harper (8.6) and Coleman (7.7).
UM gets to the free throw line often and averages 25 attempts from the charity stripe per game.
Not only do they get to the line, but they convert, hitting 75 percent of their attempts to lead the ACC.
Maryland's scoring defense ranks at 170th in the nation at 64 points per game.
The Terps are also turnover prone, giving the ball away almost 18 times per game, which ranks 156th in the country.
KEYS TO BEATING MARYLAND
Tonight's matchup features Vanderbilt's pesky defense against Maryland's offensive machine.
A low-scoring game will work in the favor of the Commodores, with the Terps scoring under 70 in two of its three defeats. Vanderbilt has limited its first two NCAA opponents to a combined 93 points (47 to Montana and 46 to West Virginia), and held them to under 30 percent shooting.
Maryland has struggled this year when opponents have taken them out of their fast-paced offense,
so Vanderbilt must disrupt the Terps' shooting rhythm to keep them guessing, and should force UM to set up their half-court offense.
VU needs to keep Toliver from pushing the ball up the court and must limit her ability to create scores for her teammates.
The Terps also turn the ball over at an alarming rate, so pressuring them into mistakes is a must.
UM has a lot of firepower on offense, but in its three losses, the Terps have struggled from three-point range,
so the Commodores must buckle down on the twin towers -- Langhorne and Harper -- down low and allow
Toliver to test her range to from downtown. Toliver is only 6-for-29 from three-point range (20 percent) in Maryland's losses.
Vanderbilt cannot afford to let Maryland have multiple chances to score in each possession,
so the Commodores must find a way to keep Maryland's inside presence off the glass.
On offense, Vanderbilt needs to set up their half court offense and work the shot clock on each possession.
Ball control on offense is key and VU needs Jence Rhoads and Jessica Mooney to play within the system.
The Commodores need at least two players to connect from three-point range consistently to open up their inside game.
A big game by Liz Sherwood and Hannah Tuomi in the paint is a key, with Maryland getting outscored in that area in two of its losses.
((In case you missed our photos from earlier today, see the post below))
FRIDAY, MARCH 28 Posted at 7:21 PM
We just returned to the hotel after a long day of work... and in case you're wondering what Spokane is like in March, it's in the 30's and snowing as I type from the lobby of the hotel... definitely
a winter wonderland (as the photo gallery will show).
The day started with an early breakfast followed by a team meeting. After that we bused to Spokane Arena, the site of Saturday's game, for media day as well as the team shootaround.
Then we headed to a local high school for the official team practice.
The rest of the night will consist of dinner in the hotel plus a fun activity somewhere in the city (yes, some well deserved down time since today has been all business so far).
The Commodores arrived in Spokane, Wash., earlier today to prepare for Saturday's Regional semifinal showdown with Maryland.
Take a look at some of Brandon Barca's pictures from today's trip to the west coast (with comments posted next to each photo). Check back for more updates tomorrow including news and pictures from the NCAA's official media day. View Today's Photos
SCHULZ'S FEATURE STORY
At the forefront of Vanderbilt's defensive effort in the NCAA Tournament has been the post play of senior center Liz Sherwood. Click here to read Ryan Schulz's latest feature story on VUcommodores.com.
We just posted more content after the Commodores' big win Monday night.... Check it out.
Before tip off of each Vanderbilt women's basketball game, the team's five starters huddle up and remind each other to come out aggressive.
So far in the NCAA women's tournament, it's worked.
WATCH POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
Watch Vanderbilt's and West Virginia's postgame press conference following the Commodores' 64-46 second round victory over the Mountaineers.
JOE FISHER'S TUESDAY UPDATE
Download Joe Fisher's latest NCAA update on this morning's 104.5 Wake Up Zone.
NCAA FINAL SECOND ROUND
 Vanderbilt 64
 West Virginia 46
Box Score |
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- When the legs grew heavy in the second half, Christina Wirth and her Vanderbilt teammates still looked fresh. Wirth scored 21 points and reserve Jessica Mooney added 11 to help Vanderbilt beat West Virginia 64-46 on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The fourth-seeded Commodores (25-8) advanced to Saturday's regional semifinals in Spokane, Wash., where they'll meet the winner of Tuesday's game between Nebraska and Maryland.
COACH BALCOMB: "I think we could sense that they (West Virginia) hit a wall.
There was a point where there was a time, I think it was the eight minutes mark where we said they had lost momentum and they were all putting their heads down, they were walking. They were looking over to the coach for time outs... We talk about coming together when we are tired,
when there is adversity and we saw them going that way. That got our kids excited."
CHRISTINA WIRTH: "The stuff that you do in the off-season, all the conditioning doesn't seem fun at the time, really is paying off now. I think that our team realizes that that we are in great shape and we can run hard and play hard for 40 minutes. I think that is hard to hang with for other teams."
JENNIFER RISPER: "We just believe in each other and we had faith and we knew that we were the team that's going to last long, so even though we're excited, even though the game was still close you know that is what carried that over and I think that is what allowed us to push and get that lead."
WEST VIRGINIA QUOTABLES:
"Offensively, we didn't reverse the ball. There wasn't one timeout I didn't say `We're not reversing the ball. We're not getting space. We're not cutting.' You can't do that. We probably took more bad shots tonight than we have in five, six games. You just can't do that. We missed easy shots and then took bad shots on top of that and then didn't get out and defend. You are not going to win a game against a team like Vanderbilt by playing that way."
MEG BULGER: "You can always blame it on fatigue but that's just kind of giving it an excuse. They could have said the same thing if we would have won. So fatigue definitely shouldn't have been a factor. They just went on a run."
OLAYINKA SANNI: "I think they just had a lot more intensity in the second half... I think we lost focus and they kept their momentum going."
NEXT OPPONENT: TBA
Winner between  Maryland and  Nebraska
Vanderbilt will next play the winner between top-seeded Maryland and eighth-seeded Nebraska Saturday in the Spokane Regional semifinals in Washington.
The Terrapins and Cornhuskers are scheduled to face off Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2 in College Park, Md. Preview.
MONDAY, MARCH 24 Posted at 12:12 PM
The NCAA Tournament continues tonight with fourth-seeded Vanderbilt squaring off with fifth-seeded West Virginia in the second round at 8:30 p.m. CT in Albuquerque, N.M. The game will be broadcast on WNSR-560 AM and on ESPN2.
We just added more content on Vanderbilt's first round victory over Montana including a postgame column by Alex Kwak plus
free audio of Coach Balcomb's and Christina Wirth's press conference. Check it out below:
After not topping 50 points in each of the last two games it played, the No. 4 seed Vanderbilt women's basketball team was looking to turn things around offensively in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.
COACH BALCOMB: "I think we pushed the basketball and the tempo the whole time and (Montana) got tired. When your three-point shooters get tired, that can really affect their shot."
CHRISTINA WIRTH: "We were well prepared. That's always a focus for us in every game. We did a good job of executing and coming out and being the aggressor. That keeps the other team on its heels."
HANNAH TUOMI: "I just came into it trying to give it all I've got. We just focused on executing and running our offense because it works. We just have to execute and take good shots. Our coaches just really reinforced the fact that with a great offense you can score a lot of points."
COACH SELVIG: "We got a good old-fashioned butt kicking tonight," Montana coach Robin Selvig said. "We were never really in it. I thought we could play them tough but everything had to go right for us. They're by far the best defensive team we've played this year. The other side of it was I thought we could defend them better."
LAURA COTE: "They're (Vanderbilt) definitely a lot quicker than us. I thought it really hurt us that we didn't come to the ball. That was one reason we made all the turnovers we did."
JOHANNA CLOSSEN: "They're in your face all the time so it's hard to get good shots off."
NEXT OPPONENT: WEST VIRGINIA
 West Virginia 61,  New Mexico 60
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Chakhia Cole's foul line jumper with 17.5 seconds left in the game lifted fifth-seeded West Virginia to a 61-60 victory over No. 12 seed New Mexico Saturday night in first round NCAA Tournament action at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M.
NCAA FIRST ROUND FINAL
 Vanderbilt 75
 Montana 47
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Vanderbilt's motto this season is "No Pressure." And that's exactly how it went in the NCAA tournament opener. Three Commodores scored in double figures to help fourth-seeded Vanderbilt beat overmatched Montana 75-47 on Saturday night.
Vanderbilt will next face fifth-seeded West Virginia in the second round Monday at 8:30 p.m. CT.
Gameday has finally arrived for the Commodore women's team. Vanderbilt got an early start on Friday, shooting at the Pit in the morning before returning to the Hyatt for another wonderful meal (complete with a four-grill omelet bar).
While the players relaxed at the hotel, broadcaster Charlie Mattos and sports information director Chris Weinman spent the midday visiting Sandia Peak Tramway (http://www.sandiapeak.com/).
The world's longest aerial tramway transports 50 passengers at a time above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain.
Stunning vistas of nature's dramatic beauty unfold en route to the observation deck atop 10,378-foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest,
where visitors enjoy an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the "Land of Enchantment."
The Commodores had considered the tram as a team activity, but the plans were changed when it was revealed that the "breathtaking terrain" has caused two players from another school to faint.
Vanderbilt opens its NCAA Tournament journey against Montana tonight in Albuquerque at approximately 9 p.m. local time (10 p.m. CT). The game will be broadcast on WNSR-560 AM and on ESPN2.
SATURDAY, MARCH 22 Posted at 12:49 PM
The women's basketball team begins NCAA Tournament play tonight against 13th-seeded Montana at 10 p.m. CT (TV:ESPN2). What better way to get ready for the showdown at "The Pit" then by reading today's articles from around the web.
We just added a bunch of new content from New Mexico to get you ready for Saturday night's NCAA Tournament first round matchup with Montana in Albuquerque.
First, take a minute to read Alex Kwak's feature story on The Pit, one of the most famous arenas in college sports (and also the location of Saturday's contest).
Next, if you've been wondering what's been going on with the Commodores while they have been outside of Nashville, then look at our updated road photo gallery to get a look from behind-the-scenes.
View More Road Photos
The Commodores arrived in Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. local time. Clear skies, 70 degrees and a bit of wind greeted the team off the 747 air charter -- a three-hour direct flight from Nashville that featured a screening of "Michael Clayton". The team is staying at the Downtown Hyatt, the second tallest building in Albuquerque. Friday's schedule includes a practice at Albuquerque High School before heading to the Pit for the first time for a shootaround and press conference.
Also, here's one article from around the web today... The Great Falls Tribune takes a look at the differences between the Commodores and Lady Griz since their last postseason meeting in 2005.
THURSDAY, MARCH 20 Posted at 1:05 PM
BALCOMB DISCUSSES NCAAS ON 104.5
Head coach Melanie Balcomb was on the 104.5 Wake Up Zone Thursday morning to discuss the Commodores first round NCAA matchup with Montana Saturday... and you can download the audio for free on VUcommodores.com ( Click to Listen).
Balcomb talks about the differences between the Commodores and Lady Griz since they met in the NCAA Tourney back in March of 2005.
MERIDETH MARSH Q&A Sophomore guard Merideth Marsh sat down with Jarred Amato to discuss everything from her favorite part about March Madness to her ideal pick-up team. Read More
AROUND THE WEB THURSDAY
Here are some articles from around the web Thursday...
Mike Organ from the Tennessean takes a closer look at the first round contest and alerts fans that Montana is not a newcomer to postseason play, having made 16 previous appearances. Read More
Also, Bill Speltz from the Missoulian writes about how the Lady Griz will have their hands full with Vanderbilt's taller and stronger roster, especially on the boards. Read More
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team earned the No. 4 seed of the Spokane Region and will face No. 13 seed Montana in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 22 at 10 p.m. CT in Albuquerque, N.M. The winner of the matchup between the Commodores and Lady Griz will face either fifth-seeded West Virginia or 12th-seeded New Mexico on Monday, March 24. Read More
For a complete bracket with printable links - Click Here.
SPOKANE REGION FIRST ROUND BRACKET:
Albuquerque, N.M. - Saturday, March 22, 2008
4 Vanderbilt (23-8) vs. 13 Montana (25-6)
5 West Virginia (24-7) vs. 12 New Mexico (20-12)
MONDAY, MARCH 17 Posted at 1:25 PM
Make sure you tune into ESPN tonight at 6 p.m. CT to find out where the women's basketball team will be seeded in this year's NCAA Tournament bracket.
Mike Organ from the Tennessean has an article in today's newspaper about how the Commodores strong finish could help their seeding. Click to Read
Finally, everyone has their bracket predictions... ESPN.com's Charlie Creme takes a stab at it. Click here to see where he thinks the Commodores will end up.
Candace Parker scored 17 of her 25 points in the first half as the No. 3 Lady Vols advanced for a shot at their third Southeastern Conference tournament
title in four years by beating instate rival Vanderbilt 63-48.
Extra VU Tidbits: Before Saturday's loss to Tennessee, Vanderbilt had an unblemished mark of 8-0 in SEC Tournament games played in what is now named the Sommet Center. In addition to Friday's 49-44 win over Auburn, the Commodores won tournament titles in 2002 and 2004...
Vanderbilt limited the Lady Vols to their third-lowest scoring output of the season with 63 points...
Jennifer Risper was VU's most consistent player in the tournament, averaging a team-best 11.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in both games...
Saturday's attendance of 12,897 was a new SEC Tournament record for a single session.
Coach Balcomb Quotable:
"I think Tennessee hit shots and we didn't. Who would have thought we'd shoot 2 for 17 from three and had open looks from especially Tina Wirth and Merideth Marsh
who are two of the best three point shooters in the country, that they generally make. UT shot the ball really well from three, especially in the first half. We did a better job getting out on their shooters in the second half."
NEXT UP: NCAA SELECTION SHOW
Even though the Commodores were eliminated from the SEC Tournament Saturday night,
there's still more basketball to be played.
Vanderbilt will find out its NCAA Tournament seeding on Monday, March 17. The unveiling of the
bracket will be televised on ESPN. To find out about more about how to obtain tickets,
SUNDAY'S SEC SCHEDULE (TV: ESPN 2)
Championship: #1 LSU vs. #2 UT at 6:30 p.m. CT
SEC SECOND ROUND FINAL
 Vanderbilt 49
 Auburn 44 Box |
Recap (AP): The Auburn Tigers did their best to shut down Christina Wirth, Vanderbilt's leading scorer. And they did all night until the Commodores needed her most.
Schulz Column: The stage had been set for the upset. Third-seeded Vanderbilt was on its way to its lowest scoring output of the season, and leading scorer and
first team All-SEC selection Christina Wirth was 0-for-8 from the field.
Extra VU Tidbits: Vanderbilt is now a perfect 8-0 in what is now known as the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville, all of those wins coming in SEC Tournament games...
VU is now 20-0 when leading at the half this season... VU has won at least one game in the SEC Tournament every year since a First Round loss in 1999.
Coach Balcomb on Wirth's only basket to break a 41-41 tie: "When she made that shot we all breathed easy."
NEXT OPPONENT: TENNESSEE Friday Recap: Tennessee 92, Florida 61
(AP) The Commodores will next face Tennessee in the SEC Tournament Semifinals Saturday at 8 p.m. CT. The Lady Vols advanced on Friday behind Candace Parker's 26 points to defeat Florida 92-61.
Shannon Bobbitt scored 22 points for Tennessee, and Alexis Hornbuckle added 16. The Lady Vols broke away with a 12-1 run, and free throws by Bobbitt put Tennessee up 44-27 with 3:37 left before halftime.
Extra UT Tidbits: With the win, Tennessee advances to the SEC Semifinals for the 15th consecutive year...
UT shot 55.4 percent from the field against Florida, its best shooting percentage against an SEC opponent...
The Lady Vols outrebounded their opponent for the 22nd time this season.
Coach Summitt on guard play: "Alexis (Hornbuckle) and Shannon (Bobbitt) played really well, but Alberta (Auguste) came in and was very efficient for us, as well.
That's something we haven't had in the past consistently is great guard play.
I don't think we can win this tournament here, I don't think we can get to Tampa, if we don't have great guard play."
FRIDAY, MARCH 7 Posted at 5:05 AM
The 2008 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament is underway and the higher seeds were victorious in all four first round games played on Thursday. Since No. 6 Auburn defeated No. 11 Arkansas 73-51, Vanderbilt will face the Tigers in the final game of the second round late Friday night at 9 p.m. CT.
Get ready for the game by reading VUcommodores.com's official preview. Vanderbilt played Auburn just a week ago with Jessica Mooney and Merideth Marsh each scoring 19 points to give the Commodores a 73-56 win over the Tigers.
Speaking of Marsh, check out Ryan Schulz's feature story on the sophomore sharpshooter. Marsh has been red hot, averaging 17.5 points per game in her last two outings, while shooting 66.6 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from beyond the arc.
For Commodore fans attending Friday's game at the Sommet Center in Nashville, be on the look out for VU staff handing out "Tourney Towels" in sections 116-118 during the second session. The giveaway was originally planned for the outside plaza area, but was changed due to inclimate weather.
Friday's Schedule (CT)
Game 5: #1 LSU vs. #8 Ole Miss at Noon
Game 6: #2 Tennessee vs. #7 Florida at 2:30 p.m.
Game 7: #4 Kentucky vs. #5 Georgia at 6:30 p.m.
Game 8: #3 Vanderbilt vs. #6 Auburn at 9 p.m.