Women's Basketball
Vanderbilt set for rivalry showdown

Kylee Smith and the Commodores welcome the Lady Vols to Memorial Gym on Sunday.
Kylee Smith and the Commodores welcome the Lady Vols to Memorial Gym on Sunday.

Sunday's game
Tennessee (13-2, 2-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (13-3, 2-1 SEC)

Sunday, Jan. 12
Time: 4 p.m. CT

Location: Memorial Gym (Nashville, Tenn.)
Radio: 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Charlie Mattos)
TV: ESPN (Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck) 

Live Stats: View
Game Notes:

Vanderbilt Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb probably didn't have to go digging in her drawer to pull out any motivational speeches this week.

With her team set to face the No. 8/8 team in the nation on Sunday, the Commodores surely have all the inspiration they need.

And oh yeah, the opponent just happens to be Tennessee.

So, chances are, the intensity levels will be ramped up for this rivalry match-up, which will feature teams that have traveled similar paths this season.

Both are off to 2-1 starts in the conference, and they carry similar overall records into the contest -- Vanderbilt is 13-3; Tennessee is 13-2.

Also, both teams have plenty of star power: Vanderbilt has a dynamic backcourt of Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister, while Tennessee counters with preseason SEC Player of Year pick Meighan Simmons.

And lastly, both teams have showcased explosive offenses, with Tennessee ranking second in the conference in scoring (84.7 points per game) and Vanderbilt ranking fourth (79.6).

Tennessee, which suffered a home loss to LSU on Jan. 2, has four players averaging in double figures: Isabelle Harrison (13.9), Ariel Massengale (13.9), Simmons (13.6) and Bashaara Graves (11.0).

For Vanderbilt, Foggie is averaging an SEC-leading 18.6 points per game.

Sunday's game is being televised on ESPN, with Pam Ward and recent Vanderbilt Hall of Fame inductee Carolyn Peck at courtside for the play-by-play and color commentary.

It will be Vanderbilt's first game on ESPN since appearing on ESPN's College Gameday on Jan. 15, 2011 in Knoxville.

Peck, a standout at Vanderbilt from 1985-88, finished her career with 1,240 points and 679 rebounds while playing in 117 games. She was inducted into Vanderbilt's Hall of Fall this past fall, and was recognized on the field prior to Vanderbilt's football game against Austin Peay.

Today's game marks the 70th all-time meeting between the Commodores and Lady Vols in a series that dates back to the 1979-80 season. Tennessee owns a 61-8 lead in the series.

Vanderbilt has dropped 10 of the past 11 games against in-state rivals, but the Commodores have had some success against the Lady Vols in Memorial Gym in recent years, posting two double-digit victories in the past five seasons.

Vanderbilt downed Tennessee 93-79 in Nashville on Feb. 9, 2012 and also posted an 81-67 win over the Lady Vols on Jan. 11, 2009. Current senior Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie were sophomores on the 2012 team. .

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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