Vanderbilt women hold on for one-point victory over Auburn

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:01pm
Staff reports

Lauren Lueders scored all six of her points in the final 5:44 and Vanderbilt withstood a late Auburn rally to win 61-60 on Thursday at Auburn.

Auburn had possession for the final 16.8 seconds, but KeKe Carrier, a 6-foot-7 senior center who had been out since she sustained a leg injury in the opening minutes, committed a turnover and the Lady Tigers never got off a potential game-winning shot.

The victory was Vanderbilt’s 16th straight in the series and its first on the road in four conference games this season.

Lueders’ first points came on a 3-pointer, which gave the 21st-ranked Commodores (14-5, 3-3 in the SEC) their first lead, 56.53. The senior guard made another 3-pointer with 2:25 to go and gave her team its largest lead of the contest, 61-53.

Auburn (11-8, 2-4) then scored the final seven points, five of them by Alli Smalley, whose 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play got the Lady Tigers within one.

Vanderbilt’s Merideth Marsh, another senior, made five 3-pointers on eight attempts and had a team-high 19 points. Junior Jence Rhoads, who missed the previous two contests with a broken hand, returned to action and had 12 points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds.

Smalley led Auburn with 19 points. Carrier was 2-for-2 with two rebounds in the first three minutes of the contest before she was hurt.

The game was a rematch of the 2009 SEC tournament championship contest, which Vanderbilt won. Auburn was the conference’s 2009 regular season champion.