Christina Foggie scored five points in a 13-4 second-half run that got Vanderbilt close, but the Commodores fell 74-69 to Florida on Friday at Memorial Gymnasium.
It was the second straight defeat and third in four games for Vanderbilt, which concludes the regular season Sunday at South Carolina. Friday’s contest originally was scheduled for Thursday, but university officials postponed it due to approaching severe weather.
VU needs a win to guarantee itself a first-round bye in next week’s SEC women’s tournament. With a loss it could drop to the fifth seed.
“Now we've lost a day of prep time and they have to decide how bad they want it,” coach Melanie Balcomb said. “We have to play harder than we did [Friday], that's for sure.”
The Commodores (18-10, 9-6 in the SEC) led by one at halftime, 24-23, but allowed a basket eight seconds into the second half and never led again. They pulled even three times, the last at 30-30 on a Tiffany Clarke layup with 17:42 remaining.
The deficit was 11 points (58-47) when Foggie made a 3-point shot and started VU’s last real push. She capped the run with a layup and foul shot that cut the deficit to two (62-60) with 5:33 to go.
Florida (16-13, 6-9) scored the next four points and kept the Commodores at bay all the way to the finish. The Gators got a game-high 16 points from Jordan Jones and a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) from Azania Stewart.
Foggie led four VU players in double figures with 15 points. Clarke added a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebunds.
“They just got good looks and they knocked down shots and we didn't take anything away from them,” Balcomb said. “We came out flat and then tried to play catch up all night.”