Commodores overcome 7-point halftime deficit

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Carla Thomas had 32 points and nine rebounds to lead Vanderbilt (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) to a 73-67 victory Thursday night over Auburn in the Southeastern Conference opener for both.

Ashley Earley added 22 points and six rebounds for the Commodores (12-2). Natasha Brackett led Auburn (9-5) with 18 points.

Dee Davis had eight assists for Vanderbilt, which made only one 3-pointer in five tries and trailed 38-31 at halftime. But the Commodores took over in the second half, making 54.2 percent of their shots after the break.

Marita Payne added 13 points and Nicole Louden and Nitasha Brown 12 apiece for Auburn.

The score was tied at 64 with 2:57 left, but Earley, Thomas and Davis led a decisive 9-3 surge.