Feb. 28, 2014
Vanderbilt (18-10, 7-8) at No. 12/15 Kentucky (21-7, 9-6)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 16
Time: 3 p.m. CT
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Radio: 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Charlie Mattos)
TV: ESPN2 (Joe Davis, LaChina Robinson)
Live Stats: View
MUCH TO PLAY FOR
Sunday's Vanderbilt-Kentucky game is likely to have a postseason feel.
The contest, which is the regular-season finale for both teams, could have a significant impact on the seedings for next week's SEC Tournament in Duluth, Ga.
The Commodores -- who have posted a 2-7 record in their past nine games -- come into the game in a three-way tie for sixth place with LSU and Auburn.
Vanderbilt still has a mathematical chance to finish as the No. 5 seed for the tournament, although the Commodores would need to win Sunday and get some outside help from other teams in order for that to happen.
Kentucky comes into Sunday's game needing a victory in order to clinch the No. 4 seed for the tournament. By doing so, the Wildcats would earn a bye into Saturday's quarterfinals (along with the other top three seeds).
TOO MANY CLOSE ONES
Vanderbilt continued its trend of hard-luck losses on Thursday night when the Commodores fell to Florida, 73-68, on Senior Night at Memorial Gym.
Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie, two of the most dynamic players in the program's history, were honored with a special ceremony before playing the final home games of their careers. Foggie finished with 24 points and Lister had nine points and eight rebounds.
It was Vanderbilt's fifth straight game that has been decided by six points or loss, and the Commodores have gone 1-4 in that stretch, including losing three straight at home.
Dating back to Jan. 26, eight of Vanderbilt's past nine games have been decided by six points or less. The Commodores have dropped seven of those games. In six of the games, Vanderbilt had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final minute.
The high-powered Wildcats come into Sunday's game on a roll, having won four of their past five games, including an overtime victory at Miss. State on Thursday night in Starkville.
Kentucky leads the conference -- and ranks 11th in the nation -- in scoring at 83 points per game. The Wildcats average 5.9 three-pointers per game, which ranks third in the SEC.
Kentucky's top scorer is Jennifer O'Neal at 13.3 points per game, and the Wildcats' top rebounder is Samarie Walker at 8.8 per game (which ranks fifth in the SEC).
SIZING UP THE SERIES
Sunday's game is the 47th all-time meeting between the SEC rivals in a series that dates back to the 1981-82 season.
The Commodores hold the all-time lead in the series, 27-19, but the Wildcats have won the past six meetings between the teams, including downing Vanderbilt twice last season. (Kentucky posted a 75-53 win in Nashville during the regular season, and then beat the Commodores, 76-65, in the SEC tournament).
Vanderbilt has gone 10-7 against Kentucky since the arrival of head coach Melanie Balcomb in 2002.
Vanderbilt has won 14 of 20 games against the Wildcats in Nashville. But away from Memorial Gym, the series is dead even. Vanderbilt is 10-10 against Kentucky in Lexington, and 3-3 against the 'Cats on neutral courts.
Vanderbilt red-shirt freshman Kristen Gaffney made her long-awaited debut for the Commodores in Thursday's loss to Florida.
Gaffney, who has been sidelined by knee injuries since the beginning of last season, played five minutes and collected two rebounds and two assists.
The 6-1 forward from Cary, N.C., was a Parade All-American during her senior year of high school.
BOWE TO MISS REMAINDER OF SEMESTER
Vanderbilt sophomore Heather Bowe will not be enrolled in school for the remainder of the spring semester due to a violation of university academic policy. She is expected to return to class and the team this summer.
Bowe has seen action in 27 games this season, and has made 21 starts. She is averaging 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.