The game began according to the script one might expect when a Top 25 team visits the gym of a team with a lower profile. In the first minute of the came, Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie knocked down 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. Then Vanderbilt's defense held the Lady Bisons scoreless for the first ten minutes of the game, allowing the Dores to start the game with a 13-0 lead.
The game followed the script for a little while longer, and with 5:58 left in the first half, Vanderbilt held a 20-point lead at 24-4.
Then Lipscomb's Hannah Phillips came to life. With eight straight points, including two 3-pointers, Phillips single-handedly cut the Vanderbilt lead to 12-points at 24-12.
"Every time we made a mistake, she made us pay for it," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb. "And as she hit shots she just built confidence and her team built confidence around her."
Vanderbilt held a 14-point lead at 33-19 at halftime. But Phillips began the second half like she ended the first half, cutting the lead to 12 points before even a minute had elapsed. The Dores did manage to stretch the lead back out to 16 points on a pair of free throws by Tiffany Clarke before the first media timeout of the second half.
But then the Lady Bisons began to climb back into the game in earnest. A 3-pointer from Phillips cut the lead to 13, then a pair of baskets brought Lipscomb to within single digits at the 13:25 for the first time since early in the first half.
The next ten minutes were squeaky bum time for Vanderbilt fans. Several times Lipscomb closed the gap to just six points. Each time the Dores answered, but were unable to pull away.
Finally, with four minutes left in the game and Vanderbilt holding a tenuous 7-point lead at 47-40, the Dores were able to create some daylight. A basket by Kady Schrann started an 8-0 run, capped by a 3-point dagger from Lister. When Phillips hit a 3-pointer on the other end of the court, Lister drained another one, her sixth 3-pointer of the night to restore the 15-point lead with :38 left in the game. Finally, Vanderbilt fans could begin to breathe again.
"I liked the way when it got close, we buckled down and defended, made them take tough shots and miss," said Coach Balcomb afterwards. "And we got some big shots from Jas Lister, who was playing very confident and hard on both ends of the floor, and she was prepared."
Lister ended the game with 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field including 6-for-10 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Lister's 24 points tied her career high. Foggie also scored in double figures with 13 points. Clarke was leading rebounder with eight. Hannah Phillips led the Lady Bisons with 21 points.
Next action for Vanderbilt is Thursday night at Memorial Gym when the Dores host the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers. Gametime is 7 p.m.