Scouting The Commodores
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (21-11) will look to advance to the Sweet 16 for the 15th time in program history when it takes on top-seeded Connecticut on Monday night. The Commodores will be led into the contest by Tiffany Clarke. The senior forward is averaging 16.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game to pace Vanderbilt. She posted a double-double in the first round win over Saint Joseph's, with 16 points and 12 rebounds. A pair of junior guards are next in the scoring column for Vanderbilt. Christina Foggie is averaging 13.8 points per game. Jasmine Lister is posting 12.5 points and 5.3 assists per contest. Senior guard Elan Brown has started all 32 games this season while averaging 6.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Look for freshman guard Morgan Batey to round out the starting lineup. Batey is averaging 2.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, but has posted 4.7 points and 6.7 rebounds over the last nine games. Off the bench, Head Coach Melanie Balcomb will look to freshman guard Jasmine Jenkins (2.3 ppg/2.5 rpg) and SEC All-Freshman selection Heather Bowe (6.2 ppg/4.4 rpg).
Scouting The Huskies
Connecticut (30-4) is making its 25th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in the Bridgeport Region. The Huskies boast five players averaging at least 9.0 points per game, as well as four with over 175 rebounds and three with better than 100 assists. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis leads UConn in scoring at 17.6 points per game. She is the nation's top three-point shooter at 50.0%. Stefanie Dolson is next at 14.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. The center leads the BIG EAST in field goal percentage at 59.0%. The Huskies get 12.7 points per game from Breanna Stewart, as well as a team-best 1.8 blocks per game. Kelly Faris is posting 10.3 points per game and a team-leading 4.0 assists per outing. Bria Hartley adds 9.1 points and 3.8 assists per contest. Head Coach Geno Auriemma's Huskies lead the nation in both scoring offense (82.5 points per game) and scoring margin (+33.4). Connecticut's four losses this season are to the top-two teams in the nation (Baylor and three losses to Notre Dame) by an average of 4.5 points. UConn downed 16 seed Idaho, 105-37, in the first round. Mosqueda-Lewis led the way with 22 points. Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson, Kiah Stokes, Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson were all in double-figures for Geno Auriemma's squad.
The Series - Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut
Vanderbilt and Connecticut will be meeting for the fifth time on Monday night, with the series even at two wins apiece. The teams last met in the Preseason WNIT in 2001, with Connecticut taking a 69-50 win at Gampel Pavilion. Connecticut was led by 19 points and 10 rebounds from Swin Cash. Sue Bird chipped in 13 and Diana Taurasi added 12. Vanderbilt was led by 16 points and 11 rebounds from Zuzi Klimesova. Chantelle Anderon and Ashley McElhiney each scored 10 points. Current Vanderbilt senior woman administrator Candice Storey Lee had four points in the game. The only other non-NCAA Tournament meeting came at the 1992 Super Shootout, with Vanderbilt winning, 57-37, in Hilton Head, S.C., during its Final Four season. The two NCAA Tournament meetings came in 1992 and 1996. Vanderbilt won the `92 meeting at Memorial Gym, 75-47, in the second round. It marks the biggest defeat in Connecticut's NCAA Tournament history. UConn took a 67-57 victory in the `96 Sweet 16 at the Rosemont Horizon, outside Chicago.
Following The Game
The Vanderbilt-Connecticut game will start at 6:00 p.m. CT. The contest can be seen on ESPN2, as part of the network's "whiparound" coverage of the entire NCAA Tournament. The game can be seen in its entirety on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app. Dave O'Brien and Doris Burke will have the call. On the radio, the game can be heard in Nashville on WNSR 560 AM and around the world as part of Vanderbilt All-Access on VUCommodores.com. Veteran announcer Charlie Mattos is the voice of Vanderbilt Women's Basketball.
On Deck - NCAA Regional Semifinals
The winner of the contest between Vanderbilt and Connecticut will move on to the Bridgeport Regional Semifinals, which begin on March 30 in Bridgeport, Conn. The games will be held at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. The winner of the Connecticut/Vanderbilt game will face the winner of a contest in College Park, Md., between fourth-seeded Maryland and fifth-seeded Michigan State.