Jan. 9, 2014
Auburn's Hasina Muhammad and Vanderbilt's Batey Morgan battled for loose ball Thursday night (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - Even Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb can't figure it out. A streak that has now reached its third Auburn coach continued unabated Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
Vanderbilt's women's basketball team beat Auburn 74-65. It was the Commodores' 21st consecutive win over the Tigers. It started when Joe Ciampi was Auburn's coach, continued through Nell Fortner's tenure and now it's hit second-year coach Terri Williams-Flournoy.
Balcomb, in her 17 seasons at Vanderbilt, has not lost to Auburn.
"I don't know what it is," Balcomb said. "It's the only team we have this kind of streak against in the conference. I told the team it's all about matchups, what a team likes to do. It helps us. It helps our mental outlook going into the game and gives us confidence."
Second-year Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said the streak will end in her time at Auburn.
"It won't happen in my time here," Williams-Flournoy said. "We'll beat them. When? I don't know, but we'll beat them."
Thursday night was about free throws and outside shooting. Auburn had 25 field goals to Vanderbilt's 23, but Vanderbilt had an 8-2 advantage on made 3-pointers and a 20-13 advantage at the free throw line.
Auburn had a bulging 42-18 advantage in the paint. Though Vanderbilt had 22 turnovers to Auburn's 19, the Commodores had 28 points off those turnovers and Auburn had 11.
In the first half, Auburn was called for 17 fouls to Vanderbilt's 10. Two Auburn players had three fouls and four had two.
"If you take away the officiating, the way the game was called in the first half, and we wouldn't have had so many players sitting on the bench," Williams-Flournoy said. "It would have been a completely different game," Williams-Flournoy said.
Vanderbilt jumped to a 20-6 lead, but a 13-1 Auburn run cut it to 21-19. Vanderbilt responded with a 17-2 run. The Tigers wouldn't go away, but they never got any closer than the final score.
Hasina Muhammad had 17 and Tra'Cee Tanner 16 for Auburn. Leading scorer Tyrese Tanner was held to just 7 points and fouled out I the final seconds. Peyton Davis got 11 tough points on the inside.
Vanderbilt guard Chritina Foggie was 6-of-11 on 3-pointers and scored 26 points. Jasmine Lister added 23 and had 10 assists.
Senior Tyrese Tanner fought her emotions when it was over. The Vanderbilt streak weighed heavily on her mind.
"It's a pretty tough loss for us, especially the people that have been here," Tanner said. "I'm excited that we get to play them again and try to win that game. I'm not happy with how I played, and we didn't do what we were supposed to do."
Foggie was frequently left all alone, and she made the Tigers pay.
"It was lack of communication over and over again," Muhammad said, "and the result was 3-point shots."
Auburn fell to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference with the loss. Vanderbilt improved to 13-3 and 2-1.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: