Dec. 30, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Vanderbilt senior Christina Foggie might soon request that the Commodores wear their road jerseys all the time -- home or away.
Foggie continued her trend of big performances on the road Monday night, scoring a team-high 29 points to help Vanderbilt extend its winning streak to eight games by downing UAB, 87-76.
Foggie finished 5-of-12 from 3-point range as the Commodores (11-2) closed out their non-conference schedule by handing the Blazers (8-5) their first home loss of the season.
Heather Bowe added 15 points in the win and Jasmine Lister had 14 points and eight rebounds. Morgan Batey pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and freshman Marqu'es Webb had 10 points while playing in front of a large number of friends and family in her home state.
But Foggie was the central figure of the win, as she scored 18 of her 29 points in the second half. It was her second straight 29-point road outing -- she also reached that mark at James Madison on Dec. 18 -- and she's averaging 21 points per game in Vanderbilt's four road contests this year.
"You really have to focus through the crowd (on the road) and sometimes its easier for me to play in a tough environment," said Foggie. "It forces me to really lock in and play my best basketball."
Foggie has been strong at home, too. She entered the night averaging 18 points per game for the season.
"She's playing really smart basketball," said head coach Melanie Balcomb about Foggie. "She is preparing herself in practice like a senior does, and she is making great decisions."
Vanderbilt, which opens SEC play against Georgia at home on Thursday, raced out to an early 26-13 lead against UAB. But the Blazers battled back, eventually cutting the lead to 44-41 at the half.
Vanderbilt then opened the second half with a 12-0 run, and this time, the Commodores stayed in control, with the lead never dipping below double figures the rest of the way. It was Vanderbilt's 12th straight December win, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
"I felt like this was a big game for us," said Balcomb. "We wanted to have momentum going into SEC play."
Vanderbilt was buoyed by strong free throw shooting, finishing 18 of 22 at the line. The Commodores also went 7 of 16 from 3 point range.
For UAB (8-5), three players did the bulk of the scoring. Chelsee Black finished with 29 points, Karisma Chapman added 27 and Ashley Grimes had 16.
The contest held some extra meaning for Vanderbilt's Webb, the freshman from Hoover, Ala. She was playing against one of her former high school teammates, Kayla Anderson, and was also playing in the same building where Hoover High held its graduation ceremony last spring.
Vanderbilt shot 58 percent from the floor in the first half and took a 44-41 lead into the locker room. Foggie had the hot hand early, connecting on three of her first four attempts from 3-point range to help Vanderbilt build a 19-9 lead.
The Commodores led by as many as 13 points, 26-13, after a 3-point play by Webb roughly midway through the half, and owned a 31-21 advantage after a 3-pointer by Lister.
But UAB kept chipping away, eventually trimming Vanderbilt's lead to 44-41 after a late 3-pointer by Grimes.
Vanderbilt, however, opened the second half with the 12-0 run, and the tone was set.