Feb. 20, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - If the Vanderbilt women are going to make any noise in March, they need to regain the form they showed in January.
And that's what the Commodores did on Thursday night.
Relocating their shooting touch that has been absent in recent days, the Commodores snapped a three-game losing skid by outlasting Arkansas 56-50 in an SEC thriller in Fayetteville.
Vanderbilt (18-8, 7-6) was clinging to a two-point lead in the final 30 seconds before Christina Foggie hit 2-of-2 free throws with 2.9 seconds left to stretch the lead to four. Vanderbilt then stole the inbounds pass to secure the win over the stubborn Razorbacks (17-9, 4-9).
Morgan Batey scored a career-high 18 points, finishing 8-of-14 from the floor, before fouling out with 1:12 to go. Christina Foggie added 11 for Vanderbilt, which shot 46.9 percent from the floor.
Jessica Jackson led Arkansas with 18.
The Commodores trailed 26-25 at the half, but opened the second half with a 13-2 run -- capped by Lister's 3-pointer -- for a 38-28 lead with 14:26 to play.
Arkansas battled back to make it tight down the stretch, but the Commodores never gave up the lead.
Vanderbilt entered the night having lost five of its past six games -- a stretch that included four close-call losses that were decided in the final minute of the game. Vanderbilt shot just 40 percent from the floor in those six games.
Prior to that, Vanderbilt had been on a tear, winning five of its first six SEC games while shooting 47 percent from the floor.
Against Arkansas, the Commodores shot 52 percent in the first half and 46 percent for the game, which helped them overcome a rough night at the foul line, where they made just 8-of-18 attempts.
Arkansas has been one of the nation's best defensive teams this season. The Razorbacks entered Thursday's game allowing only 52.2 points per game, which ranks first in the conference and second in the nation.
Arkansas owned a 26-25 at the end of a hotly-contested first half that featured seven ties and eight lead changes.
Batey had a big first half for Vanderbilt, hitting 5-of-6 shots and scoring 10 points. Webb added six points for the Commodores, who shot 52 percent from the floor (12-of-23).
Kady Schrann made Vanderbilt's only 3-pointer of the first half, as the Commodores were limited to two attempts from long range. Vanderbilt shot just one free throw in the opening half.
Struggling to find a flow on the offensive end, Vanderbilt trailed 21-17 late in the first half before putting together a 6-0 run -- with baskets from Foggie, Batey and Webb -- to jump in front 23-21. Foggie then gave Vanderbilt a 25-23 lead with 47 seconds left in the half, but Arkansas answered with a 3-point play for a 26-25 halftime lead.
Despite their recent struggles, Vanderbilt entered Thursday's game ranked first in the SEC -- and fourth in the nation -- in field goal percentage (40.9 percent). Vanderbilt also ranked second in the conference and ninth in the nation in 3-point percentage (46.8).
Vanderbilt hosts Alabama on Sunday.