The Commodores have been playing without their leading scorer, Christina Foggie. The junior is averaging 15.7 points per game and has missed the last two contests with a knee injury. Tiffany Clarke is second on the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game, while leading the ream in rebounding at 8.2 per contest. Clarke is shooting 54.0% from the field, which is second in the SEC and 18th nationally. Clarke did not see action in the second half of the game at UT after falling ill at halftime. Junior point guard Jasmine Lister is coming off a 24-point performance against the Lady Vols and is third on the team at 11.9 points per game. She is also averaging 5.6 assists per game, third in the SEC. Senior guard Elan Brown is also expected to start on Thursday. Brown is averaging 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, second on the team.
Freshman forward Heather Bowe is likely to join Clarke in the post to start the game. Bowe is posting 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Gabby Smith rounded out the starting five in Foggie’s absence and is averaging 1.9 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. Off the bench, look for freshman guard Morgan Batey (1.9 ppg/2.1 rpg), freshman guard Jasmine Jenkins (1.9 ppg/2.4 rpg) and freshman forward Kendall Shaw (3.5 ppg/2.1 rpg).
Florida (15-11, 4-8 SEC) enters the contest having lost its last two games to Texas A&M, 78-71, and Georgia, 62-57. The Gators are led by the duo of Jennifer George and Jaterra Bonds, who are each posting 12.2 points per game. George also leads the team in rebounding at 7.9 per game. The Florida starting five against the Lady Bulldogs was rounded out by Sydney Moss (9.8 ppg/6.2 rpg), Christin Mercer (6.7 ppg/4.2 rpg) and Lily Svete (5.4 ppg/2.0 rpg).
Head Coach Amanda Butler’s squad has seen 10 of its 12 league games decided by eight points or less, while over all they have played 14 games decided by 10 points or less. Florida has dealt with injuries all season, dressing nine players for most games on the season.
The Commodores and Gators have met 50 times, with Vanderbilt holding a 31-19 edge in the series. Vanderbilt has won eight of the last nine contests, however two of the last three needed extra time to decide a winner. The first meeting came in 1978 and the teams have met at least once a year since.
Last year, Vanderbilt won a 75-69 decision in overtime. Christina Foggie hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game, which saw Stephanie Holzer and Tiffany Clarke each record double-doubles. The last time the teams met at the O’Connell Center, it took double overtime for Vanderbilt to secure the win, 103-97. Clarke and Holzer also led the way in that game with 23 points apiece.
The game will tip at 6:00pm CT and can be seen on CSS with Bernie Guenther and Maria Taylor on the call. The contest can also be seen on ESPN3.com (no blackouts apply).
On the radio, fans can listen in Nashville on WNSR 560 AM, or around the world on VUCommodores.com as part of Vanderbilt All-Access.
Charlie Mattos has the call on the Vanderbilt IMG Network.