This was not the start No. 24 Vanderbilt was looking for.
Harassed by South Carolina’s stingy defensive pressure, the Commodores committed a season-high 26 turnovers and scored a season-low 55 points in a 65-55 loss on Thursday night in their Southeastern Conference opener at Columbia, S.C.
Tied at 25 with 3:54 left in the first half, Vanderbilt let South Carolina go on a 10-0 run before halftime and never recovered.
The Commodores (12-2, 0-1) entered with the nation’s top 3-point shooting percentage but were just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Their turnovers also proved costly as the Gamecocks (13-2, 2-0) turned them into 18 points and scored 16 points on the fast break.
Tiffany Clarke came off the bench to lead Vanderbilt with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Stephanie Holzer added 10 points but picked up her fourth foul just three minutes into the second half. Leading scorer Christina Foggie (17.7 ppg) was held to just nine points. Guard Gabby Smith (concussion) played for the first time since Nov. 14 and scored three minutes off the bench.
The Commodores return home on Sunday when they host Ole Miss at 2 p.m.