"I liked the way we started; I thought we had a great game plan, and we executed it for about 30 minutes," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb after the game.
"Then when it got tight, we all started doing what was comfortable and couldn't get out of our comfort zone," she continued. "They turned up their defense and took our individual strengths away and frankly, made us look bad."
Going into the game one of the big concerns for Vanderbilt was containing junior center Kelsey Bone, who entered the game averaging 17.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The Dores held Bone to just eight points, but freshman guard Courtney Walker took up the slack, with 20 points, including 14 in the second half.
Vanderbilt got off to a good start, scoring the first five points of the game and led by as much as seven points in the last few minutes of the first half. Going into the locker room, Vanderbilt held a 27-24 lead.
Out of the locker room, the Aggies scored a couple of baskets to take their first lead of the game. From then through the midway point of the second half, the teams battled neck-and-neck with frequent lead changes and ties.
Then a 10-0 run by the Aggies gave them a 9-point lead at 48-39 with 8:54 remaining, and it was Vanderbilt's turn to play catch up. The Dores were able to cut the lead back to three points at 50-47 with 4:48 left in the game.
But that's as close as they would come. Vanderbilt had some chances, as the Aggies missed some key free throws, but in the end, Texas A&M was able to hold on for the victory.
Reed Arena from the outside
Reed Arena from the inside
Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair handing out pre-game candy
Tip Off: Freshman post Heather Bowe entered the starting lineup, along with Tiffany Clarke , Elan Brown, Christina Foggie, and JJasmine Lister.
Jasmine Lister hits a 3-pointer.
Heather Bowe scores.
Elan Brown puts Vandy up by six at 8-2.
Jasmine Lister scores off the drive.
Heather Bowe's basket makes the score 17-14.
Tiffany Clarke gives Vandy a 7-point lead at 23-16.
Tiffany Clarke scores again.
In the second half, the Aggies stepped up the defense.
Tiffany Clarke scores early in second half.
Bench cheers Clarke's and one that cut Aggie lead to 48-45.
Kendall Shaw on the court in her home state
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Photos copyright 2013 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com