Scouting The Commodores The Vanderbilt women's basketball team hosts No. 9/9 Tennessee with a 13-5 record and 2-3 mark in SEC play. The Commodores return home looking to rebound from a tough 54-51 loss at LSU last Sunday. They're led into the game by senior forward Tiffany Clarke and her 15.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Clarke is also shooting 56.5% from the field, a mark that is second in the Southeastern Conference and 15th nationally. Second on the team in scoring is junior Christina Foggie. The junior, a preseason First Team All-SEC selection, is averaging 15.2 points per outing and as averaging 2.94 three-pointers per game (19th in NCAA). Joining Foggie in the backcourt is Jasmine Lister. Also a junior, the point guard is averaging 11.8 points and 6.2 assists per game. Her assist total is second in the conference and 19th in the country. Most likely joining the trio in the starting lineup are guards Kady Schrann and Elan Brown. Schrann, a sophomore, is averaging 7.4 points per game and shooting 53.6% from the field (she is one field goal attempt from qualifying among SEC leaders and would be third in the league). Brown is posting 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per outing. First off the bench for Melanie Balcomb's Commodores will most likely be Heather Bowe (5.7 ppg/4.3 rpg), Gabby Smith (2.1 ppg/1.2 rpg), Morgan Batey (1.9 ppg/1.6 rpg) and Rayte'a Long (2.1 ppg/1.2 rpg).
Scouting The Lady Volunteers Tennessee (15-3, 6-0 SEC) travels to Nashville having won its last eight contests, most recently a 96-69 home win over Alabama on Sunday. With the exception of a season-opening loss to Chattanooga, the Lady Vols losses have been to two of the top-four teams in the nation (Baylor & Stanford). Meighan Simmons leads Tennessee in scoring at 17.3 points per outing and is the only Lady Vol to have started all 18 contests. Bashaara Graves posts 14.4 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds per game, while Isabelle Harrison is averaging 10.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Ariel Massengale leads the team in assists at 4.2 per outing, while also posting 8.7 points per game. They have been without the services of Cierra Burdick and her 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game since December 31 (hand). Head Coach Holly Warlick is in her first season at the helm of the Lady Vols, who are 6-2 on the road this year.
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee Although they did not meet until the third season of Vanderbilt women's basketball, Tennessee is the most common opponent in program history with the Lady Vols holding a 59-8 edge in the series. The first meeting was a 77-53 UT win in Nashville. The first Vanderbilt victory came in the 1984-85 campaign, an 84-77 win at Memorial Gym. The teams have met at least twice a season every year since 1993-94, with a third meeting in the SEC Tournament occurring nine times since then (in addition to a third meeting taking place in the NCAA Tournament in 2002). Last season, the teams met three times with Tennessee winning (87-64) in Knoxville, Vanderbilt winning (93-79) at Memorial and UT taking the rubber match in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena (68-57). The 68th meeting on Thursday night will be the first in the history of the series without Pat Summitt coaching for Tennessee. (Note: Tennessee records show the series at 60-8, counting a UT victory in 1976 which was prior to Vanderbilt's first varsity season in 1977-78.)
Watching at Home The Tennessee game will tip at 8:05 p.m. CT and be available on SportSouth in Nashville. The game can also be seen in other areas of the Southeast on FOX Sports Southwest and Sun Sports. Outside of the 11-state SEC footprint, the game can be seen online at ESPN3.com (online broadcast blacked out in states with an SEC institution).
On Deck - Alabama Vanderbilt will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face Alabama on Sunday, January 27. Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m. CT and the game can be seen as part of the SEC Network (WUXP MyTV 30 in Nashville) and online on ESPN3.com.