Jan. 9, 2013
Scouting The Commodores
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (12-3, 2-0 SEC) looks to win its 10th-straight game and fifth-straight road contest on Thursday at South Carolina. The Commodores are led by the post-guard duo of Tiffany Clarke and Christina Foggie. Clarke is coming off a 25-point, 13-rebound performance at Ole Miss and now leads Vanderbilt in scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). The senior is a 58.2% shooter from the field, second in the SEC. Foggie, a preseason First Team All-SEC selection, is averaging 15.6 points per game on the year and scored 13 at Ole Miss. Also averaging double-figures is one of the hottest Commodores, Jasmine Lister. The junior point guard has posted double-doubles in both conference games this season and is averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 assists per game this season. Expected to join those three in the starting lineup are guards Kady Schrann and Elan Brown. Schrann, a sophomore, is averaging 8.1 points per game after scoring 15 on 6-for-6 shooting from the field against the Rebels. Brown averages 6.0 points and 6.1 rebounds (second on the team), as well as a team-best 1.8 steals per game. First off the bench will be Heather Bowe (5.5 ppg/4.7 rpg), Gabby Smith (2.8 ppg), Rayte'a Long (2.3 ppg) and Morgan Batey(2.3 ppg).
Scouting The Gamecocks
South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt with a 13-2 record and a 1-1 mark in Southeastern Conference action. The Gamecocks won their first 10 games of the season before falling to then-No.1 Stanford, 53-49. They opened SEC loss with a 73-53 loss to No. 12 Tennessee before rebounding last Sunday at Mississippi State. Aleighsa Welch leads the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game, while also grabbing a team-leading 8.8 rebounds per contest. Tiffany Mitchell is close behind at 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Also in Head Coach Dawn Staley's starting five for all 15 games this season have been Ashley Bruner (9.3 ppg/7.0 rpg), Ieasia Walker (8.5 ppg/7.0 rpg) and Sancheon White (6.2 ppg/3.1 rpg). The Gamecocks rely on defense to win games. They have held teams to 47.4 points per game and a 34.1% shooting percentage this season, leading the SEC in both categories.
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina
Vanderbilt and South Carolina will be meeting for the 30th time on Thursday night in Columbia. The Commodores hold a 21-8 advantage in the series, despite the Gamecocks sweeping two games last year. The first meeting came in the 1991 NCAA Tournament, with Vanderbilt taking a 73-64 win in the first round at Memorial. The teams began meeting as members of the Southeastern Conference the next season, with South Carolina taking the first in-league meeting in Columbia, 72-65. The Gamecocks took a 65-55 win at Colonial Life Arena early last year before winning a 65-50 overtime contest at Memorial later in the year. It marks just the second time in the series South Carolina has won consecutive games. Two of the last three games have gone to an extra five minutes, with Vanderbilt's last win in the series coming in a 74-60 overtime win in Columbia in 2011. Vanderbilt leads the series 8-5 in the Palmetto State.
On Deck - Arkansas
Vanderbilt will return to the friendly confines of Memorial Gym to host the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday, January 13. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. and it is the annual Jam the Gym game, with all tickets costing just $1. There will also be a halftime performance by quick change artists and a pre-game kids zone in the Memorial practice gym starting at 12:30 p.m.