Tiffany Clarke notched a double-double for the eighth-seed Vanderbilt Commodores who edged the St. Joseph's Hawks, 60-54, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Gampel Pavilion.
Clarke had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Jasmine Lister tallied 14 points for Vanderbilt (21-11) which will take on top-seed Connecticu in the next round.
Chatilla van Grinsven had 14 points and came a rebound short of a double- double for St. Joseph's (23-9). The ninth-seed Hawks also got 10 points apiece from Natasha Cloud and Ilze Gotfrida.
The Commodores went into the locker room leading 33-27 after holding the Hawks to just 37.5 percent shooting in the first half. The two teams combined to go 0-of-12 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.
After the break Vanderbilt took its largest lead, 40-30, after a 7-0 spurt early in the second period. The Hawks remained within striking distance though and actually tied the game, 48-48, with 6:50 left on a layup from van Grinsven. The Commodores answered with a layup from Heather Bowe and a jumper from Christina Foggie after a Hawks' turnover to put them back ahead for good. The Hawks had plenty of chances to come back but hit just 2-of-11 shot attempts in the last four minutes.
Vanderbilt had a 47-22 edge on the boards. The game featured nine ties and six lead changes.