The combination of South Carolina's reknowned defense and foul trouble for Vanderbilt's strongest inside force spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the Dores. Besides missing Clarke's rebounding and scoring for much of the first half, her absence also make it easier to guard Vanderbilt's outside threats.
All-in-all, the result made the first half dismal for Vanderbilt. In all, they connected on only four field goals on 20 attempts. No Dore managed more than one field goal in the half. The only saving grace was that Vanderbilt was able to get to the free throw line, and once there, the Dores knocked down their shorts. Of Vanderbilt's 20 first half points, 11 of them came from the free throw line.
In the meantime, South Carolina, a team not known for their shooting, shot 58% from the field. South Carolina's defensive success and Vanderbilt's defensive failures resulted in a 16-point halftime lead for the Gamecocks at 36-20.
From the Vanderbilt point of view, the second half went better than the first, with each team scoring 28 points in the half. Several times the Dores threatened to cut the lead back to single digits. The last of those mini-runs came with 2:37 left in the game. Vanderbilt had cut the lead to 10 points on a pair of free throws by Jasmine Lister. But they could come no closer and had to foul. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks made their free throws to seal the 64-48 victory.
Next action for Vanderbilt is on Sunday afternoon when the Dores host the Arkansas Razorbacks in the annual Jam the Gym promotion. All tickets will be sold for $1. In addition, a Kids Zone will be set up in the practice gym before the game, a special halftime show will feature Quick Change, and an autograph session with the team will take place after the game.
Game night in Columbia!
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Photos copyright 2013 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com