Tennessee senior Isabelle Harrison, former Hillsboro High School star, scored three points on one of five shooting in her hometown this past Monday night, as the Lady Vols handed Vanderbilt (8-6, 0-2) yet another loss. Final score, 57-49. The Commodores have now lost four of their last five games. The Lady Vols (12-2, 2-0), however, have won eight straight and provided a solid defensive effort in this one to secure the win.
Despite their strong defensive effort, the Lady Vols struggled on offense, shooting just 36% from the field. Andraya Carter scored a career high 19 points, as No. 7 Tennessee improved their series lead to 64-9. Regardless of its series lead, Tennessee is only 4-3 over its last seven games. The Commodores play them hard and make them grind out victories. Although, in this one, Vanderbilt trailed the entire contest. Tennessee out rebounded Vanderbilt 39-27. Ariel Massengale scored 12 points, while Jordan Reynolds added 11. Cierra Burdick, also put in her two cents with 10 points for the Lady Vols.
It wasn’t enough, but the Commodores’ bench outscored the Lady Vols’ 38-12. Freshman Khaleann Caron-Goudreau came off the bench to score 10 points for Vanderbilt. Christa Reed led the Commodores with 13 points. The Commodores played a top 10 opponent for the second straight game, losing to No. 5 Texas A&M last week.
Tuesday, the following night at Memorial Gym, featured the men. This was the conference opener for both teams. Vanderbilt’s strong rebounding and balanced scoring attack spoiled newly appointed Auburn Tiger head coach Bruce Pearl’s return to the Southeastern Conference. Auburn (8-6, 0-1) lost
its 15th straight SEC road opener, ruining their current five game-winning streak. Pearl, former Tennessee Volunteer head coach, appeared in his first SEC game since serving a three-year penalty from the NCAA.
“Vanderbilt is a good team and they run good stuff,” said Pearl, while talking live to ESPN U commentators, while coaching at the same time during the contest.
James Siakam scored 14 points to lead four starters in double figures as the Commodores beat the Tigers 64-52 in front of a little more than 10,000 fans. Vanderbilt’s Riley LaChance scored 13 points. LaChance was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time on Monday. Damian Jones added 11 points and Shelton Mitchell had 10. Vanderbilt (11-3, 1-0) extended its winning streak to four games.
The Commodores had a substantial rebounding advantage in this contest of 47-27. Commodores forwards Luke Kornet and Siakam each grabbed 10 rebounds. Head coach Kevin Stallings praised his team following the win.
“That’s a new positive for us and that’s a good positive” said Stallings.
Auburn’s Antoine Mason led the visitors with 16 points. K.T Harrell, who entered the game as the SEC’s second leading scorer (17.9 ppg) was held to eight points on 3 of 9 shooting. The Tigers came out cold, missing 16 of its first 20 shots. Auburn couldn’t get into a rhythm as the Tigers shot just 30.5% from the floor. Cinmeon Bowers grabbed nine boards. Auburn was seeking its longest winning streak since winning seven straight in 2008, but it hasn’t happened as of yet. Pearl was 3-3 at Memorial Gym at Tennessee, including a 72-69 loss when the Vols were ranked No. 1 in 2008. Auburn hasn’t won at Memorial Gym since 2000.