Vanderbilt edged out by Auburn 64-59

Jan. 12, 2017

Box Score | Howell’s Photos media_icon_photogallery.gif

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt women went cold at the wrong time Thursday night.

After building a 17-point lead in the third quarter, the Commodores struggled late against Auburn’s pressure defense and suffered a 64-59 loss at Memorial Gym.

The Commodores (10-7, 0-4), who dropped their sixth straight game, were outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter by the Tigers (13-5, 3-1). Vanderbilt made just 4-of-12 shots from the floor, including going 0-of-5 from 3-point range, in the final 10 minutes.

Janiah McKay’s layup gave Auburn a 61-59 lead with 59 seconds to play, and the Tigers held on for the win by making 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch.

Freshman Kayla Overbeck finished with a double-double for Vanderbilt with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Auburn’s Katie Frerking had a game-high 18 points, and Brandy Montgomery scored 14 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter to help fuel the Tigers’ comeback.

Rachel Bell also scored 16 points for the Commodores, who led 53-46 with 6:54 to play in the fourth quarter before Auburn closed the game on an 18-8 run to steal the win. The Tigers have now won four straight against Vanderbilt, including the past three match-ups in Nashville.

“We saw glimpses tonight of the way we want to play,” said Vanderbilt first-year head coach Stephanie White. “But we can’t just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.”

Auburn, which ranks No. 3 in the nation in turnovers forced per game, caused the Commodores to commit 24 turnovers. The disruptive defense enabled the Tigers to overcome a poor shooting performance. Auburn missed its first 13 attempts from 3-point range, and went just 2-of-17 from long range for the game.

Marqu’es Webb had four points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Commodores, who owned a 43-26 lead after a layup by Overbeck with 5:27 left in the third quarter. But Auburn closed the quarter with a 16-6 run to get back in the game, and then completed the comeback with the strong fourth-quarter effort.

Vanderbilt went 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the first quarter and again in the third. But the Commodores couldn’t find the mark from long range down the stretch when Auburn made its surge.