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November 18, 2013

Women drop home game to Marquette

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - After opening the season with three straight wins, things got all fouled up for the Vanderbilt women's basketball team on Sunday.

Facing Marquette in front of a lively crowd at Memorial Gym, the RV/No. 25 Commodores built a 14-point lead in the first half but then ran into major foul trouble in the final 20 minutes and suffered their first loss of the season, 82-77. Marquette closed the game on an 11-4 run to secure the win.

The contest saw the teams combine for a staggering 63 fouls and 74 free throws. Marqu'es Webb, Kylee Smith and Morgan Batey all fouled out for Vanderbilt.

Christina Foggie had another huge game for Vanderbilt, scoring 30 points (four shy of matching her career high) while going 16-of-18 at the foul line. She was joined in double figures by three of her teammates: Jasmine Lister with 13 points, Rebekah Dahlman with 12 and Jasmine Jenkins 10.

But the balanced scoring wasn't enough to offset a second-half comeback by the feisty Golden Eagles, who proved to be the more aggressive team in the second half -- as evidenced by the stat sheet.

Vanderbilt, which owned a 47-36 lead at the half, shot 26 free throws in the first 20 minutes, compared to Marquette's 10. But the second half featured 24 free throws by the Golden Eagles, while Vanderbilt shot 14. Marquette's intensity was also reflected in the rebounding stats, as they won the battle on the glass, 25-13, in the final 20 minutes (and 37-31 for the game).

"The first four minutes of the second half really changed the game," said Vanderbilt head coachMelanie Balcomb. "They came out more aggressive after halftime and we didn't. We have to figure out why. ... I really thought we had built confidence and we were going to continue to be the aggressor and we weren't." Katherine Plouffe scored a team-high 16 points for the Golden Eagles (3-0) and was one of five Marquette players in double figures.

The loss dropped the Commodores to 3-1 as they head into their first road test of the season, a visit to No. 2/2 Duke on Thursday night.

"It's just going to be a really big test for us," said sophomore post player Heather Bowe. "Duke is obviously a great team, so we've got to go out and be tough and aggressive against them."

Foggie fell just shy of a record-setting day Sunday. She was one short of the Vanderbilt all-time record for free throws attempted (set by Ashley McElhiney with 19 in Feb., 2001) and two shy for free throws made in a game (18 by McElhiney).

Foggie, coming off her first career double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds) in Thursday's win over Delaware State, said the Commodores need to do a better job of maintaining their intensity for 40 minutes.

"We need to play both halves and put in good basketball in both halves," she said. "I think in the second half Marquette was ... outworking us, and that's something we need to learn. We need to play both halves."

After Vanderbilt carried its 47-36 lead into the locker room, Marquette opened the second half with an 11-2 run to pull within 49-47 with 15:17 left to play.

Bowe stopped the surge by converting a layup on an in-bounds play, and Jasmine Jenkins followed with two free throws. Foggie then capped Vanderbilt's 6-0 mini-run with a basket in transition, enabling the Commodores to rebuild a 55-47 lead.

Marquette refused to go away, however, storming back to take a 69-67 lead with 4:45 to play, and then making enough big plays -- and enough free throws -- to notch the victory.

Vanderbilt used the combination of Foggie and free throws to build its 47-36 lead at the half.

Foggie exploded for 19 points in the opening 20 minutes, going 4-of-6 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and made 9-of-10 free throws. As a team, Vanderbilt went 24-of-26 from the foul line -- 92 percent.

Dahlman also had a big first half for Vanderbilt, scoring 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. She was 3-of-4 from 3-point range.

The teams essentially traded baskets for the first eight minutes, with five lead changes and three ties in that span. Overall, the game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes. Foggie scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, before the 12-minute mark of the first half to set the tone for her big day.


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