AUBURN, Ala. -- Merideth Marsh scored 19 points to lead Vanderbilt (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) to a 61-60 victory over Auburn on Thursday night.
Alli Smalley had 19 points for Auburn. Her 3-pointer brought Auburn within one with 46.9 left in the game. Vanderbilt's Tiffany Clarke missed an open layup on the ensuing possession giving the Tigers a chance.Keke Carrier turned the ball over and Vanderbilt (14-5, 3-3 SEC) held on for its 16th straight win over Auburn (11-8, 2-4). Carrier was injured earlier in the game and didn't return till the end.The Commodores took advantage of Carrier's absence and overcame a 36-29 halftime deficit for their third conference victory. Jence Rhoads added 12 points for Vanderbilt.Auburn coach Nell Fortner is 0-8 all time against Vanderbilt's Melanie Balcomb.The Tigers had a 53-49 lead in the second half, but they failed to score in the next 5 minutes. Two 3-pointers by Lauren Lueders gave the Commodores a 61-53 advantage, but Vanderbilt failed to score in the last 2:25 of the game.Carrier limped off the floor with 17:20 to go in the first half. She spent the rest of the game being tended to by trainers and working on an exercise bike before returning for the finish.Smalley became the 25th Auburn player to score 1,000 points with a layup early in the second half.