Auburn women lose to Vanderbilt, 66-61

AUBURN, AL (WBRC) - The Auburn women's basketball team (11-12, 3-7 SEC) could not overcome a second-half deficit to Vanderbilt as the Tigers fell 66-61 Thursday night in Auburn Arena. The Commodores improved to 17-5, 5-4 SEC.

"We knocked some shots down, but we fell a little short," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. "I thought this team fought hard, and we just fell a little short."

Auburn had three players in double figures in the game led by senior Chantel Hilliard with 13 points. Camille Glymph added 12 while Morgan Jennings tallied 11 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds.

The Tigers outrebounded Vanderbilt 34-27, including 19-8 on the offensive boards. The bench once again put up an impressive showing with 23 points, including 14 in the first half.

"I'm looking at the stat sheet," Fortner said. "More field goals, more field goal attempts, more offensive rebounds, less turnovers. We did a lot of things right, but we lost at the free throw line."

The Tigers attempted just 15 free throws on the night and converted on 10. Vanderbilt reached the line 22 times and shot better than 90 percent.

Auburn relied on a strong defensive performance to match the Commodores in the first half. Vanderbilt shot 50 percent from the floor, but the Tigers forced 10 turnovers, resulting in 12 of Auburn's 33 first-half points.

Despite Vanderbilt holding the lead for the first 10 minutes of the game, the Tigers tied it up, 18-18, after a steal from Parrisha Simmons that resulted in a 3-pointer from Glymph. Jennings took the lead on the next possession with a jumper in the lane.

The Commodores regained the lead with 4:13 to play, and the lead changed three more times before the teams went into the half tied at 33 as another 3-pointer from Glymph just missed as time expired.

Coming out of the locker room, Vanderbilt went on a 7-0 run, but Auburn countered and never let the margin reach double digits. Despite repeated efforts to regain the lead in the second half, the Tigers would be within a point of the Commodores three times with less than three minutes to play to no avail.

Tiffany Clarke led Vanderbilt with 26 points while Jasmine Lister added 13 and six assists. Stephanie Holzer neared a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Auburn returns to action Sunday as it takes on No. 8 Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. CT and the game will be televised by the SEC Network. The Lady Volunteers fell to South Carolina, 64-60, Thursday night in Knoxville, falling to 16-6 and 7-2 in the SEC.