Sophomore guards help Vandy women shake Oklahoma

Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 9:18pm

Christina Foggie provided the cushion, and Jasmine Lister put the nails in the coffin. 

The sophomore guards combined for 45 points as Vanderbilt knocked off previously undefeated and 12th-ranked Oklahoma 78-66 in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday in front of 4,100 at Memorial Gymnasium.

It was Vanderbilt’s biggest win since upsetting No. 6 Georgia on Jan. 14, 2010. The Commodores (6-0) improved to 26-0 in the 13-year history of the tournament.

Foggie matched her career-high with five 3-pointers, hitting four in the first half, and had 18 points by halftime. She finished with 21 and was named to the all-tournament team.

Lister, the tournament MVP, led the way with a career-high 24 points — 17 after the break.

“If they shoot it the way they did [Saturday] I think they are going to give a lot of people trouble,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “I thought their composure, their confidence, just their sureness with how they wanted to play was really impressive. Defensively, I think they rattle people because that [matchup zone] is something you don’t see every day.”

Oklahoma’s last lead was 6-5 just two and a half minutes into the contest. Foggie’s fourth 3-pointer gave Vanderbilt a 12-point lead with 9:05 left in the opening half.

Oklahoma (3-1), which reached the Sweet 16 a year ago, made a charge and tied it before Lister’s layup with 19 seconds left gave Vanderbilt a 39-37 halftime lead.

“When Foggie started lighting it up, it gave us a lot of momentum early that I think we needed,” Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. “It just carried on. Every time they made a run we never let them tie it or go ahead. We made a run back. I think that was really important for us in our mental toughness and the things we’ve been working on, staying level-headed in situations like that.”

The Sooners did stay close despite 25 turnovers. They cut the margin to 46-44 before Vanderbilt went on a 15-7 run. Lister scored eight points during the spurt, including a nifty reserve layup over 6-foot-3 Joanna McFarland for a nine-point lead.

“She does that move at least once every game,” Foggie said of Lister’s layup. “So we were confident when she went by [McFarland].”

Immediately after the play, Lister’s right leg cramped and she left the court. She later returned, nailing a 3-pointer from the left wing to cap off the stretch and extend the lead to 61-51 with 7:33 left.

“It just started us up,” Lister said. “We just kept going. We got a lot of runs. It put a lot of fire in all of us.”

Vanderbilt, off to its second 6-0 start in three years, returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Commodores hit the road for the first time this season, taking the short trip to Clarksville to play Austin Peay.