Scouting The Commodores The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (14-6, 4-3 SEC) will look to sweep a two-game road trip on Thursday night when it pays its first-ever SEC visit to Texas A&M. The Commodores are led into the game by senior Tiffany Clarke. The forward is averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and has recorded a double-double in the last two outings. She is second in the SEC and 12th nationally in field goal percentage at 56.3%. Behind her is Christina Foggie. The junior guard is averaging 15.4 points per game and has emerged as Vanderbilt's steals leader with 1.9 per contest. Fellow junior guard Jasmine Lister runs the point and is averaging 11.4 points and 6.0 assists per game. Her assist total is second in the league and 20th in the nation. Guards Kady Schrann and Elan Brown have rounded out the starting five in 15 of 20 games this season. Schrann, a sophomore, is averaging 7.3 points and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting 50.0% from the field which is tops among Vanderbilt's guards. Brown, a senior, is averaging 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game (second on the team), while having started all 20 contests. Off Head Coach Melanie Balcomb's bench, look for freshman forward Heather Bowe (6.0 ppg/4.8 rpg), senior guard Gabby Smith (2/1 ppg/1.4 rpg) and freshman forward Rayte'a Long (1.9 ppg/1.1 rpg) to be the first options.
Scouting The Aggies No. 16/16 Texas A&M has posted a 16-5 record and a 6-1 league mark during its inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference. The Aggies are led in scoring and rebounding by the same player that leads the league in both categories, Kelsey Bone. The junior South Carolina transfer has returned to an SEC with a vengeance, averaging 17.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while shooting an SEC-best 60.1% from the field. Bone, who earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2010 before capturing Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors last year, has led Texas A&M in scoring in 14 of 21 games this season. Kristi Bellock and Courtner Walker have joined Bone in the starting lineup for all 21 games this year, posting 9.9 and 9.7 points per game, respectively. Bellock also adds 7.0 rebounds per game. Adrienne Pratcher has started all but one game, averaging 8.3 points and 4.8 assists per outing. The Aggies lost their first three contests of the season to Louisville, Penn State and Connecticut but have been 16-2 since, falling only to No. 2/3 Notre Dame and No. 7/8 Kentucky. Head Coach Gary Blair, who coached in the SEC at Arkansas for 10 years, is in his 10th season at Texas A&M.
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. Texas A&M Thursday night will be the third meeting between Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, but first as members of the Southeastern Conference. The Commodores swept a home-and-home series with the Aggies, winning in Nashville, 97-78, in 1995, before taking a 78-59 decision in College Station in 1997. In that contest, current Vanderbilt athletics administrator Candice Storey Lee scored one point and grabbed four rebounds. Vanderbilt last played an SEC opponent for the first time on February 8, 1992, when they defeated Arkansas, 79-75, at Memorial Gym. Texas A&M is one of three repeat opponents for Vanderbilt this season, with the Aggies making their first SEC trip to Music City on Sunday, February 24.
Watching at Home The Texas A&M game can be seen in the Southeast on SportSouth, FOX Sports Southwest and Sun Sports (check local listings for the channel in your area). The game can been seen outside the Southeast online at ESPN3.com. Dave Neal and Debbie Antonelli will have the call with tipoff at 7:00 p.m. CT.
On Deck - Ole Miss Vanderbilt will face another of its three repeat opponents on Sunday, February 3, when Ole Miss visits West End. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. The game is Vanderbilt's annual alumni reunion and the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Final Four team will be celebrated at halftime. There will also be a pregame kids zone in the Memorial Practice Gym starting at 12:30 p.m. Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss, 76-57, in Oxford, Miss., on January 6.