Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, the seeds held true again on Monday night, as the #1-seeded Huskies dominated the game on both ends of the court to score a decisive victory over the #8-seeded Commodores.
The Dores had some moments in the first half. UConn jumped out to an 8-1 lead early, but Vanderbilt seemed to settle down. Freshman post Kendall Shaw provided some offense off the bench, and midway through the first half, Vanderbilt trailed by only five points at 18-13. A layup by Elan Brown with 5:44 left in the first half once again pulled the Dores within five points at 25-20.
But that was as good as it got for Vanderbilt. The Huskies then when on a 10-0 run to take a 17-point lead with two minutes left in the half. Vanderbilt scored the final four points of the half to go into the locker room trailing 37-24.
Coming out of halftime, the Huskies put the game away early with a 17-0 run, holding the Dores scoreless for first seven minutes of the half.
"They came out of the locker room with a higher sense of intensity and urgency and we didn't respond to it," said Tiffany Clarke after the game. Finally a 3-pointer by Jasmine Jenkins ended the scoring drought, but by that time, UConn had built thirty point lead, the handwriting was on the wall, and the fat lady was ready to take the stage.
The game marked the end of the Vanderbilt careers of the team's three seniors, Tiffany Clarke, Gabby Smith, and Elan Brown. "The seniors, Tiffany, Elan and Gabby, have left a great legacy of hard work," said Jasmine Lister after the game.
"To step up as leaders in the past year is incredible, especially in Tiffany. She wouldn't step outside of her comfort zone last year, and now she's like the best player I've ever played with," she continued. "I've had so much fun with her on the court. Whenever coach asks any of them to do something, they do it, and there's no second-guessing. They just get the job done."
The few, the proud, the Vanderbilt fans
Geno Auriemma; "Seriously, how??"
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Photos copyright 2013 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com