Jan. 5, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Vanderbilt's offense wasn't as crisp as normal on Sunday, but that wasn't what upset head coach Melanie Balcomb.
Rather, she was frustrated with her team's defensive effort after a 76-66 loss to No. 13/12 South Carolina that ended the Commodores' nine-game winning streak.
Unable to slow down South Carolina's inside attack, Vanderbilt lost for the first time since Nov. 21 at Duke.
After trailing by as many as 17 points early in the second half, Vanderbilt (12-3, 1-1) trimmed the deficit to 63-55 after two free throws by Christina Foggie with roughly seven minutes to play. But South Carolina (14-1, 2-0) didn't flinch, and pulled away for the win.
"The positive about this game is the way we fought back," said Balcomb. "But the negative is we couldn't stop them in the paint."
South Carolina post player Alaina Coates finished with a team-high 24 points, including scoring two key baskets in the second half after Vanderbilt had pulled within striking distance. Tiffany Mitchell added 19 for the Gamecocks, who improved to 9-0 at home.
Vanderbilt, which entered the day as the SEC's leader in field-goal percentage, was just 23-of-61 from the floor (37.7 percent).
Christina Foggie finished with 16 points, but was 5-of-16 from the floor. Jasmine Lister added 13 points, Jasmine Jenkins had 12 and Kylee Smith had 11.
"(South Carolina) didn't give our shooters any shots," said Balcomb. "They had a great game plan and they executed it."
Vanderbilt trailed 41-30 at the half after being limited to 41 percent shooting the floor, making just 10-of-24 attempts. Foggie was 1-of-4 from the floor and had two points in the half.
After falling into an early 8-2 hole, the Commodores went on a 13-4 run to take a 15-12 lead. The surge included a 3-pointer by Lister and back-to-back baskets in the paint by Smith and Webb.
South Carolina answered with a 13-4 run to build a 25-19 lead as the Gamecocks began to take over inside. Vanderbilt then reeled off three quick 3-pointers -- by Smith, Jenkins and Lister -- to stay within striking distance, trailing 31-25 late in the half.
But South Carolina closed the half with a 6-0 run, including a basket by Coates at the buzzer, to take a 41-30 lead, the largest advantage of the half for either team.