Auburn, which is 15-12 overall and 3-11 in the SEC, goes into the conference tournament as the 11th seed. Florida, which is the sixth seed, defeated Auburn in their regular season meeting 70-61 back on Jan. 6th. That was the SEC opener for the Tigers.
The Tigers and Lady Gators are scheduled to tipoff at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in downtown Nashville in the fourth and final game of the opening day of the league tournament. The game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.
Against Vanderbilt, sophomore Le'Coe Willingham led the Tigers with 17 points and eight rebounds. She hit 8-14 field goals and blocked a shot in 38 minutes of action. Freshman guard Natasha Brackett was the only other AU player who scored in double figures. She hit five of nine field goals for 13 points and added five rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.
Center Chantelle Anderson led the Commodores with 19 points as she hit 6-10 field goals and all seven of her foul shots. Forward Zuzi Klimesova nailed 7-9 field goals for 14 points.
Vanderbilt jumped to a 35-22 halftime lead with strong shooting. VU hit 58.3 percent of its first half shots and followed that with 54.2 percent in the second half. Auburn's solid 46.0 percent shooting effort couldn't match Vandy's final figure of 56.3 percent.
Neither team had a major problem with turnovers. The Tigers had just 11 and Vandy only six. Auburn outrebounded Vandy 24-23.
In addition to Vandy, the seeded teams with first round byes are No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 South Carolina and No. 4 LSU. The tournament opens at noon on Thursday as No. 8 Alabama faces No. 9 Georgia, No. 7 Arkansas plays No. 10 Ole Miss at 2:15 p.m. and fifth-seeded Mississippi State takes on 12th-seeded Kentucky at 6 p.m. prior to the Auburn vs. Florida game.
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