Vandy Tests Tigers in Home Finale

Ciaja Harbison has 21 points, five rebounds against nationally-ranked LSU

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As they have done all season, the Vanderbilt Commodores scrapped and clawed in their final home game of the season.

But No. 5/4 LSU used its size and depth to overtake Vanderbilt women’s basketball and sweep the SEC regular-season series with an 82-63 victory on Thursday night at Memorial Gymnasium.

Vandy (12-17, 3-12 SEC) cut a 20-point first-half deficit to just six points in the third quarter, but couldn’t sustain the momentum as LSU (26-1, 14-1 SEC) pulled away again down the stretch.

Graduate guard Ciaja Harbison led Vanderbilt with 21 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, to go along with five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Vandy freshman guard Jada Brown added 10 points, which was two off her career high, with fellow freshman Ryanne Allen adding nine points and five rebounds.

LSU sophomore forward Angel Reese finished with a game-high 23 points and 18 rebounds for her 26th double-double in 27 games. Fifth-year senior guard Alexis Morris scored 21 points for the Tigers and LaDazhia Williams had 13.

LSU led from wire-to-wire. The Tigers went on a 7-0 run near the end of the first quarter for an 18-9 lead before a steal by Harbison led to a turnaround baseline jumper by Sacha Washington at the buzzer to pull Vandy within seven points. The Dores had four steals and Washington blocked two shots in the first quarter.

LSU continued to find multiple sources of offense in the second quarter and outscored Vandy 22-12. Reese, Jasmine Carson and Sa’Myah Smith combined for 21 of LSU’s points in the frame. LSU’s largest lead was 20 points before Harbison drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the final minute as Vandy entered halftime trailing 40-23.

But the Dores showcased their trademark fight in the third quarter to spark a little Memorial Magic. Vandy embarked on a 13-3 run to cut the LSU lead to just six points after back-to-back 3-pointers from Marnelle Garraud and Harbison.

LSU answered by ending the quarter on a 10-1 run to push its lead back to double digits and didn’t let up in the fourth quarter.

LSU finished the game shooting 52 percent from the field (33 of 64) while holding Vandy to 38 percent (22 of 58). The Tigers outrebounded Vandy 43-29, scored 46 points in the paint and had 23 second-chance points.

The Dores finished with nine steals, with Harbison and Garraud each grabbing three.

Player Notes
• Harbison has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 13 games.
• Washington has blocked multiple shots in 15 games this season Marnelle Garraud has recorded more than one steal in 15 games, including each of the last three.
• Allen made two 3-pointers, the third time in the last five games she’s made multiple 3s.
• Brown made multiple field goals for the first time since Vandy was at Missouri on Feb. 2, finishing in double figures for the second time this season.
• Demi Washington hit consecutive 3-pointers in a minute span in the fourth quarter to tie a career high, which was first set at Tennessee on Feb. 12..

Series History
LSU evened the all-time series 26-26, and has won seven straight. Vandy is now 15-5 at home against LSU.

Up Next: Vanderbilt plays its final road game of the regular season against Auburn on Sunday at 3 p.m. (SEC Network).

Tickets: Students will continue to receive free admission to all home basketball games. In addition, single-game sales, mini-plans and group ticket options are available. To view the promotional schedule, click here.