Surging Commodores head to South Carolina

Kady Schrann and the Commodores visit South Carolina on Sunday.

Jan. 4, 2014

Sunday's game
Vanderbilt (12-2, 1-0 SEC) at South Carolina (13-1, 1-0)

Sunday, Jan. 5
Time: Noon CT
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Radio: 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Charlie Mattos)
Live Stats: View

Vanderbilt opened SEC play by slaying one giant. Now the Commodores face another.

With hopes of extending a nine-game winning streak, Vanderbilt -- which upset No. 19/18 Georgia 66-58 on Thursday night -- travels to South Carolina on Sunday to face the No. 13/12 Gamecocks (13-1, 1-0).

It will be the first SEC road test for the Commodores (12-2, 1-0), who haven't lost a game since dropping a road contest to Duke on Nov. 21.

Sunday's game, which tips off at noon (CST), is being broadcast on ESPNU.

The Gamecocks, who kicked off their SEC schedule with a 55-51 road win over Arkansas on Thursday, are 8-0 at home this season. Their lone loss came on a neutral floor, when they fell to North Carolina, 74-66, on Dec. 18 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the Carolinas Challenge.

South Carolina, coached by Dawn Staley, has four players averaging double figures in scoring, and three who are averaging six or more rebounds per game. Tiffany Mitchell is the team's leading scorer (15.1), and Alania Coates is the leading rebounder (7.6).

Aleighsa Welch (14.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Elem Ibiam (10.1, 6.5) have also been steady contributors.

Vanderbilt, too, has found offense from multiple sources this season, but the clear-cut catalysts have been seniors Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister.

Foggie is averaging 18.3 points per game and Lister is averaging 15.6. Both players provided pivotal plays in Thursday's win over Georgia.

Lister finished with a game-high 24 points and Foggie added 11. They were the only two players to reach double figures for the Commodores.

Lister -- who finished 8-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range -- scored 10 points in the span of less than five minutes late in the second half while fueling a 17-5 run that allowed Vanderbilt to flip a 47-43 deficit into a 60-52 lead with 3:40 to go.

Foggie, the SEC's leading scorer, hit a key 3-pointer during the game-changing surge.

"They are our senior leaders, and we look up to them," said sophomore Morgan Batey about Lister and Foggie. "When they hit big shots, it ignites the rest of us."

Today's matchup is the 31st all-time meeting between Vanderbilt and South Carolina. The Commodores own a 21-9 lead in the series, and have gone 9-5 against the Gamecocks since head coach Melanie Balcomb's arrival in 2002-03.

South Carolina has won the past three matchups between the teams and four of the past five. Prior to that, Vanderbilt had beaten South Carolina eight consecutive times (spanning from the 2002-03 season to 2008-09.

The most recent game between Vanderbilt and South Carolina was last January, when the Gamecocks posted a 64-48 win on their home court.

Vanderbilt is still without the services of freshman star Rebekah Dahlman, who is out indefinitely after undergoing two procedures to dissolve a blood clot in December.

No timetable has been set for Dahlman's return, and she will continue to be evaluated.

The freshman guard started the first nine games this season, averaging 11.4 points per game. Dahlman led the SEC and ranked 10th in the nation in 3-point percentage at 51.4 percent (18-of-35) at the time of her injury..



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