Feb. 9, 2013
Balcomb Interview | Clarke Interview | Foggie Interview
Scouting The Commodores
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (15-7, 5-4 SEC) plays the second of three-straight home games on Sunday when it hosts No. 10.8 Kentucky at Memorial Gym. The Commodores are led in both scoring and rebounding by senior forward Tiffany Clarke. The Duluth, Ga., native is averaging 16.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while also shooting 54.8% from the field, second in the SEC. Christina Foggie is right behind her, averaging 15.9 points per game. The junior guard is also posting 3.0 assists and a team-best 1.9 steals per game. Joining Foggie in the backcourt is classmate Jasmine Lister. Lister averages 11.2 points and 6.0 assists per game. Her assist total ranks third in the league. She also plays a league-leading 35.3 minutes per game. Senior guard Elan Brown has started every game this season while averaging a very reliable 6.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Rounding out Head Coach Melanie Balcomb's starting five the last two contests has been freshman forward Heather Bowe. The Eau Claire, Wis., native is averaging 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. The first players off the bench will be sophomore guard Kady Schrann (6.7 ppg/2.3 rpg), freshman forwards Kendall Shaw (3.2 ppg/2.2 rpg) and Rayte'a Long (1.8 ppg/1.1 rpg) and senior guard Gabby Smith (2.1 ppg/1.3 rpg).
Scouting The Wildcats
No. 10/8 Kentucky (20-3, 8-2 SEC) heads to Nashville tied for third in the league and coming off an 80-74 overtime win at Arkansas on Thursday night. The Wildcats are led in scoring by A'dia Mathies, who is averaging 15.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. DeNesha Stallworth is posting 13.3 points per outing, while three more UK players average better than 9.0 points per game - Jennifer O'Neill (9.8), Samarie Walker (9.6) and Bria Goss (9.1). Walker leads the team in rebounding at 8.5 per contest, while O'Neill leads the team in assists with 2.6 per game. Kentucky leads the SEC in scoring margin on the season, +23.1, thanks mostly to a strong defense. Kentucky is tied for the league lead in both blocks (5.2) and steals (12.2), while leading the nation in turnover margin (+8.87). Of UK's three losses this season, all three came to ranked teams (No. 1 Baylor, No. 14 South Carolina and No. 13 Georgia), while two of the three were on the road (Baylor and Georgia).
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky
The Commodores and Wildcats are meeting for the 45th time on Sunday, with Vanderbilt holding a 27-17 edge in the series. The teams first met in the 1981-82 season and have seen each other at least annually since. Kentucky won 11 of the first 15 meetings from 1981-91. Vanderbilt then won 24 of the next 26 contests from 1991-2010, but Kentucky has won the last four meetings in a row. Last season, the teams met in Lexington with Kentucky taking a 70-61 victory. Samarie Walker led Kentucky with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Tiffany Clarke led the Commodore effort with 19 points and eight boards.
Watching at Home
The Kentucky game can be seen nationally on ESPN2. Pam Ward and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude will have the call. The broadcast is also available on WatchESPN. On the radio, the game can be heard on WNSR 560 AM in Nashville with veteran play-by-play announcer Charlie Mattos on the call. Live audio is also available as part of Vanderbilt All-Access on VUCommodores.com.
On Deck - Missouri
Vanderbilt concludes a three-game homestand on Valentine's Day with the first-ever SEC visit from Missouri. It will be the first meeting between the two programs. Tipoff on Thursday, February 14, is set for 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Gym.