Vandy drops OT thriller to USC, 65-60

Jan. 22, 2012

Box Score |  Joe Howell's Photos | Highlights | Postgame Press Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 25/22 Vanderbilt rallied to force overtime, but couldn't quite pull out a win, falling to South Carolina, 65-60, on Sunday, January 22, at Memorial Gym. The Commodores fell to 14-5, 2-4 in SEC action, while the Gamecocks improved to 15-5, 4-3 in league play.

Vanderbilt saw three players reach double-figures, as Christina Foggie led the charge with 16 points, while Tiffany Clarke added 15 and Jasmine Lister scored 12. Stephanie Holzergrabbed a career-high 15 rebounds for the Commodores.

South Carolina was led by 20 points from La'Keisha Sutton. Sutton entered the game as an 18% three-point shooter, but went 4-5 from beyond the arc. As a team, South Carolain was 8-22 from three, while Vanderbilt was just 3-17.

The Gamecocks also got 11 points from Aleighsa Welch and 10 from Markeshia Grant.

After tailing by nine with just over 18 minutes to play, the Commodores slowly chipped their way back in it, with Foggie finally hitting a pair of free throws to tie the game at 56 with 24 seconds left. Holzer got a steal as Sutton drove the basket to force overtime.

Sutton opened the overtime period with a three just 20 seconds in, but Foggie responded with a three-point play to tie it at 59 just 18 seconds later. Neither team would score another field goal in the overtime period, with South Carolina going 6-8 from the free throw line to seal win, 65-60.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcombknows the final result wasn't there, but was pleased to see her team show some fight.

"It's not where we should be 19 games into the season," Balcomb said. "It is one of the first times this season that we won the second half. I think we'll continue to get better and that second half showed that."

Lister and Clarke were a little more succinct, agreeing that the second half was better, but this time the first half saw a Vanderbilt slump.

"We waited too long to play," Lister said.

"We have to put two halves together," said Clarke.

South Carolina used a 16-2 run to close out the first half and take a 27-21 lead into the break. The Gamecocks shot 41.7% from three in the first half (5-12), while going just 3-16 inside the arc. Sutton was 3-4 from three in the opening period.

Vanderbilt had an opportunity to cut the lead to one or tie it at the break, but a Lister turnover led to a Sutton three to push the lead back to six.

It was the first home loss of the season for Vanderbilt (12-1).

The Commodores will look to rebound on Thursday, January 26, when they host Georiga at Memorial Gym. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. and the game can be seen on CSS.



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