Jan. 26, 2013
Scouting The Commodores
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (13-6, 3-3 SEC) will look to snap a two-game losing streak on Sunday when they visit Alabama. Tiffany Clarke leads the Commodores on the season in both scoring and rebounding. The senior forward is averaging 16.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.1% from the field. Right behind her in the scoring efforts is junior guard Christina Foggie. The preseason first-team all-league selection is averaging 15.6 points per game after scoring 22 on Thursday night against No. 9/9 Tennessee. Foggie, who led the SEC in scoring a season ago, has also emerged as one of the team's top defenders this year, grabbing 1.9 steals per game. Junior Jasmine Lister runs the point and scores 11.6 points per game in addition to her 6.1 assists per game which rank second in the SEC and 20th in the nation. Sophomore guard Kady Schrann, who is averaging 7.7 points per game after recording 14 against the Lady Vols, and senior guard Elan Brown, posting a very solid 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, will likely round out the starting five for Head Coach Melanie Balcomb. The first options off the bench will be freshman forward Heather Bowe (5.6 ppg/4.4 rpg), freshman guard Morgan Batey (1.8 ppg/1.6 rpg) and senior guard Gabby Smith (2.2 ppg/1.3 rpg).
Scouting The Crimson Tide
Alabama (12-7, 2-4 SEC) hosts Vanderbilt coming off a 61-51 win over rival Auburn on Thursday night in Tuscaloosa. The Tide are led in scoring by sophomore guard Daisha Simmons, who is posting 12.4 points per game while also grabbing 4.7 rebounds per outing and averaging a team-best 4.3 assists per game. Junior guard Shafontaye Myers is right behind her, posting 12.2 points per game, while junior guard Jasmine Robinson is also in double figures at 10.7 points per game. The Tide are just 2-4 in league play, but all four of those losses came to ranked teams in Texas A&M, Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee. Head Coach Wendell Hudson's squad has conference wins over Ole Miss and Auburn. The Tide allows 68.7 points per game, the second-highest total in the SEC. They do lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 23.7% from beyond the arc (Vanderbilt is the second-best three-point shooting team in the league at 35.3%).
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. Alabama
Thursday night will be the 40th meeting between the Commodores and Crimson Tide in women's basketball, with Vanderbilt holding a 28-11 edge in the series. Alabama won six of the first eight contests between 1977-84. Since then, Vanderbilt has won 26 of the last 31 meetings between the schools. The Commodores also hold a 10-7 edge in Tuscaloosa, however the series returns to Foster Auditorium for the first time since 1981, where the Tide hold a 2-0 advantage. Melanie Balcomb is 12-1 against Alabama, with the lone loss coming in 2004 in Tuscaloosa. Last year, Vanderbilt won its 11th straight in the series, 67-54, behind 18 points and seven rebounds from Christina Foggie as she wrapped up the SEC scoring title and 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Jasmine Lister.
Watching at Home
The Alabama game is set for 1:00 p.m. CT and is an SEC Network broadcast. The game can be seen in Nashville on WUXP MyTV 30 (check local listings in other parts of the Southeast). The broadcast is also available nationwide on ESPN3.com.
On Deck - Texas A&M
Vanderbilt will face one of the two newest Southeastern Conference members for the first time, traveling to College Station, Texas, to face Texas A&M on Thursday, January 31. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT and the game can be seen on SportSouth, FOX Sports Southwest and Sun Sports, as well as online at ESPN3.com outside of the Southeast.