Women's Basketball Rallies But Falls Short At No. 25/24 Vanderbilt, 66-58

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Najat Ouardad's seven steals rank in a tie for sixth all-time in single-game steals.

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Najat Ouardad's seven steals rank in a tie for sixth all-time in single-game steals.
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Jan. 12, 2012

Box Score

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Auburn women's basketball team (9-8, 1-3 SEC) went on a 13-1 run with just over three minutes to play to cut Vanderbilt's lead to five, but it would not be enough to hold off the No. 25/24 Commodores (14-2, 2-1 SEC)as the Tigers suffered their third conference loss, 58-66, Thursday night at Vanderbilt.

Sophomore Tyrese Tanner came off the bench to lead Auburn with 14 points. The Tiger bench out-scored Vanderbilt's 22-4, marking the 11th time this season for the Auburn bench to score 20 or more points. Senior Chantel Hilliard tallied 11 points, while junior Blanche Alverson and sophomore Camille Glymph each added nine.

Junior Najat Ouardad picked up seven steals to tie for sixth all-time on the Auburn list for steals in a single game. She also dished out a game-high six assists with four points.

"We fought really hard and I was proud of that," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. "We have made a habit of getting behind early and coming back and we did that again tonight.

"That run Vanderbilt had in the first half was just too much. I thought we started off better tonight, but that was a big hole to have to climb out of."

Vanderbilt used a 17-0 run in the first half to pull away from the Tigers. Auburn led 9-8 before the run after a Tanner layup. Tiffany Clarke started the run with a layup and a converted free throw after being fouled, leading to six first-half points.

After leading by 16 at the half, Vanderbilt extended its lead to 20 with just under 17 minutes to play in the game. The Tigers chipped away at the double-digit lead down the stretch and cut the lead to less than 10 with just over a minute to play.

The Tigers trailed by just five points with 15 seconds remaining, but Jasmine Lister converted both free throws to extend the Commodores' lead back to seven, and a missed 3-pointer by Tyrese Tanner sealed the win.

Auburn ratcheted up the defense to get back in the game. The Tigers tallied 14 steals, forcing 21 Vanderbilt turnovers. Auburn scored 24 points off turnovers, marking the eighth time this season with 20 or more points off turnovers.

Vanderbilt was led by sophomore Christina Foggie with 27 points, while junior Tiffany Clarke added 12 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Jasmine Lister also tallied 11 points with five assists and three steals.

Foggie kept Vanderbilt in control in the second half, scoring 22 of her 27 points in the second half.

Auburn will return to the court at 1:30 p.m., Sunday in the second game of its two-game road trip. The Tigers will take on Arkansas (11-5, 0-4 SEC) in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. The game will air live on FSN.