TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak on Sunday, January 27, at Alabama, defeating the Crimson Tide, 67-58. The Commodores improved to 14-6, 4-3 in SEC play, while the Tide fell to 12-8, 2-5 in league play.
Tiffany Clarke matched her career high with 27 points, while also grabbing 15 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season and third in a row. Heather Bowe also contributed a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
For Alabama, Diasha Simmons led the way with 15 points. Shafontaye Myers added 13, while Jasmine Robinson contributed nine and Meghan Perkins added six, and pulled down a team-best nine rebounds.
"I really liked how our kids responded," Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said. "(Alabama) is a team that comes at you for 40 minutes and you have to be tough. When Tiffany Clarke plays two halves, we're going to be a good team."
Clarke knew Vanderbilt was in for a challenge facing the Tide.
"We needed this," Clarke said. "They play really good defense and it was a hard-fought game."
It took over two minutes for someone to get on the scoreboard. Alabama missed its first five field goals before Perkins hit a layup two minutes and 13 seconds in. The Commodores missed their first four shots before Foggie connected from three at the 17:23 mark of the first half.
Things picked up for the Commodores, as they hit their next four field goals to take an 11-7 lead with 13:44 to play. Alabama then answered with a pair of back-to-back threes to take a 13-11 lead. Two free throws by Clarke tied it at 13 midway through the first half.
Trailing 21-20 with 6:31 until the break, Vanderbilt used an 8-0 run from Tiffany Clarke to open up a 28-21 lead with just over four minutes remaining the period. The senior hit two free throws, got back-to-back layups and hit another pair from the line.
The Tide responded and took advantage of five straight Vanderbilt turnovers to take a 29-28 lead. Foggie halted the run with a jumper for the eighth lead change of the half, putting the Commodores on top, 30-29. Clarke followed with a basket and a free throw to provide the 33-29 halftime margin.
Alabama would not go away, and retook the lead with just over 13 minutes left, making it 42-40 on a jumper by Perkins. Clarke responded to tie it back up at 42, the 10th tie of the ballgame.
Bowe started to give the Commodores a little breathing room, scoring five-straight points to give Vanderbilt a 54-48 lead. Alabama would get no closer than four. Clarke scored the next three to make it 58-50, giving Vanderbilt its largest lead of the game.
Clarke and Bowe combined for the Commodores' only 11 points during a four-minute stretch that saw Vanderbilt put the game away.
Alabama could get no closer than seven points down the stretch and Vanderbilt held on for a 67-58 victory.
Vanderbilt was able to overcome 27 turnovers in the game, which the Tide converted for 33 points. It was the first time Vanderbilt had at least 25 turnovers since committing 25 at South Carolina on January 25, 2012.
The Commodores were very solid from the field, shooting 43.6% Clarke led that charge, shooting 9-15, while Bowe added a 6-9 mark.
Next up for the Commodores is the first Southeastern Conference trip to Texas A&M on Thursday, January 31. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT and the game can be seen on SportSouth.