Women's Basketball Ready For Re-Match Against Vanderbilt
Feb. 1, 2012
AUBURN - Fresh off a win at Ole Miss last weekend, the Auburn women's basketball team (11-11, 2-6 SEC) will look to make it two in a row as the Tigers host Vanderbilt (16-5, 4-4 SEC) Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, from Auburn Arena.
Now in the second half of the Southeastern Conference season, the Tigers are jockeying for position for the 2012 SEC Tournament. Just three wins separate third place from 10th place in the conference, giving each team an opportunity to make a move.
Looking at the final stretch of the season as a fresh start worked well for Auburn against the Rebels, a feeling that head coach Nell Fortner looks to continue.
"We were 0-0 going into that game and maybe it kind of took some stress off of us a little bit going in there, and I thought we had a good day of practice," said Fortner. "We just felt good going in there, kind of revitalized a little bit, and hopefully we can approach every game that way. There's still a lot of this season yet to play."
This will be the second meeting between Auburn and Vanderbilt this season after the Commodores defeated the Tigers 66-58 in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 12. Even though Auburn lost the game, the Tigers come into Thursday's game with the momentum after out-scoring Vanderbilt 45-37 in the second half.
"I thought we attacked them better in the second half," said Fortner. "I thought we had penetration against that zone better in the second half, and that it always helps when you're knocking down shots. We had opportunities just like we have all year long. You've just got to knock some shots down, and when you knock them down early it just gives you confidence.
"That is a real key for us, is to try to get some really high-percentage shots early so we can get some confidence early."
After being down by as many as 20 points at Vanderbilt, Auburn rallied back and cut the Commodore lead to five late in the game. However, Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie, the team's leading scorer, scored 22 of her 27 points in the second half to fend off the Tigers.
"We did a really good job of just fighting and hanging and staying in the game, we came back strong and cut it there in the end and felt like if we could have kept them from scoring," said Fortner. "We would get close and then Christina Foggie would go down and hit a wide-open 3, so she was really a problem for us in the second half of really just closing the gap even more. I thought we made a good run at them, but just didn't find her quick enough."
Vanderbilt has gone 3-2 since last playing Auburn, dropping three straight games at Tennessee (87-64), at Arkansas (69-47) and against South Carolina in overtime (65-60). The Commodores have rebounded recently, though, picking up home wins over Georgia (68-48) and LSU (81-72).
Vanderbilt has struggled on the road this season with four of the team's five losses coming away from Memorial Gymnasium. The Commodores are also 0-3 on the road in league play.
Foggie leads the team with an SEC-best 18.2 points per game. One of the top shooters in the conference, she is fifth in the SEC in field goal percentage, .542, first in 3-point field goal percentage, .466, and first in free throw percentage, .854.
She is one of four Commodores averaging double figures, coming in ahead of Jasmine Lister (12.0 ppg), Stephanie Holzer (10.6 ppg) and Tiffany Clarke (10.5 ppg). Lister leads the team and is third in the SEC in assists with 5.2 per game while Holzer and Clarke combine for 14.3 rebounds per game.
Leading the way for Auburn is sophomore Tyrese Tanner with 10.9 points per game, good enough to rank 20th in the SEC. Coming off the bench, Tanner has led the Tigers in scoring in five of the last eight games. Right behind her is the long-range duo of Blanche Alverson and Camille Glymph, who are averaging 9.3 points per game each. The pair is averaging 3.8 treys per game, shooting at a 37.4 percent clip. Glymph is coming off a 19-point effort at Ole Miss on Sunday.
Also nearing double figures is Hasina Muhammad with 9.1 points per game, good enough for second in the SEC among freshmen. Senior Parrisha Simmons leads the team in rebounding with 5.5 boards per game, including four double-digit rebound games this season.
For fans that cannot make it to the game, GameTracker and a live video Webcast will be available at AuburnTigers.com. Tiger fans can listen to the game live on WMXA 96.7 FM and AuburnTigers.com with play-by-play from Andy Burcham and color commentary from Arnika Edwards.
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