Jan. 8, 2014
Vanderbilt (12-3, 1-1 SEC) at Auburn (10-4, 1-0)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 9
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Auburn, Ala.
Radio: 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Charlie Mattos)
Live Stats: View
Although Vanderbilt won't be facing a team that has a number attached to its name, that doesn't mean that Thursday's game against Auburn has any less significance for the Commodores.
After opening their SEC schedule with back-to-back games against ranked opponents, the Commodores (12-3, 1-1) head to Auburn to face the unranked Tigers (10-4, 1-0) in a contest that will carry plenty of importance for both teams.
For Vanderbilt, the game represents a chance to rebound from Sunday's 76-66 loss to No. 19/18 South Carolina -- a defeat that snapped Vanderbilt's nine-game winning streak. Equally important, Thursday's game presents Vanderbilt with an opportunity to gain an SEC road victory -- an important commodity in regard to earning postseason consideration.
From a historical standpoint, Vanderbilt will be looking to extend its mastery of Auburn. The Commodores enter the game having won 20 straight against the Tigers, a streak that dates back to the 1999-2000 season. Vanderbilt is 17-0 against the Tigers since head coach Melanie Balcomb's arrival in 2002-03.
Auburn, meanwhile, is looking at Thursday's game as a chance to prove itself as a force in the SEC. The Tigers opened their conference schedule with a win over Miss. State, and they could certainly generate more attention with a win over Vanderbilt.
Auburn's Tyrese Tanner is producing big numbers for the Tigers, leading the team in both scoring (17.3) and rebounding (6.9)
Auburn has two other players averaging in double figures: Hasina Muhammed is averaging 13.2, and Brandy Montgomery is at 11.8.
Vanderbilt has been paced by its two senior guards, Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister. Foggie, who entered the week as the SEC's scoring leader, is averaging 18.1 points per game, and Lister is averaging 15.5 points.
As a team, Vanderbilt ranks among the conference leaders in several offensive categories, including points per game (79.9) and field goal percentage (48.3).
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Auburn comes into the game with a 6-0 mark at home, which is nothing new for the Commodores.
In each of Vanderbilt's past three road games, the Commodores have faced teams with undefeated home records. James Madison was 2-0 at home before losing to Vanderbilt on Dec. 21; UAB was 5-0 at home before losing to the Commodores on Dec. 30; and South Carolina is now 9-0 at home after beating Vanderbilt on Sunday.
SIZING UP THE SERIES
Thursday's matchup is the 44th all-time meeting between the teams, with Vanderbilt owning a 27-16 lead in the series.
Auburn won 16 of the first 23 games against Vanderbilt before the Commodores started their 20-game win streak against the Tigers with a 74-66 road victory on Jan. 14, 2001.
Auburn's most recent win over Vanderbilt came on Jan. 16, 2000, when the Tigers won 55-54 in Nashville.
DAHLMAN REMAINS SIDELINED
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..