Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, however, there are two halves to a box score, and the other half didn't look so good from a Vanderbilt perspective. The Lady Vols' shooting percentage of 36% wasn't good, but Vanderbilt's was worse at 33%. Heather Bowe, who has been leading Vanderbilt in scoring since returning to play last month, was held scoreless, as was Morgan Batey, who has been consistent for the Dores all season. And perhaps most damaging, the Lady Vols held a substantial edge on the boards with 39 rebounds compared to 27 for Vanderbilt.
The game played out just as one might guess from those statistics: many possessions going deep into the shot clock, many missed shots and frequent and lengthy scoring droughts.
Tennessee scored first, then the Dores took their only lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Rebekah Dahlman. But that lead endured for only 16 seconds until Andraya Carter hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Vols. After that, Vanderbilt trailed until Khaleann Caron-Goudreau, in her first game in Memorial Gym, hit two 3-pointers to tie the game at 12-12 with 7:14 left in the half. Two baskets and two minutes later, the score was tied again at 14-14. In the final four minutes of the half, Vanderbilt turnovers and Tennessee offensive rebounding helped the Lady Vols establish an 8-point lead at 25-17 going into halftime.
Tennessee's run continued after halftime. Five minutes into the second half, a 3-pointer by Ariel Massengale gave the Lady Vols a 15-point lead at 35-20. For the next ten minutes, Vanderbilt managed not to lose further ground, but also wasn't able to cut into the Tennessee lead.
Then, with three minutes left in the game, a basket by Marqu'es Webb cut the Tennessee lead back to single digits at 48-40. With a minute and a half left in the game, Vanderbilt began to foul to extend the game. The first time the strategy worked perfectly. Harrison missed the free throws, Dahlman grabbed the rebound, took the ball down the court and hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to seven at at 50-43. From there on, Tennessee hit free throws, and Vanderbilt hit 3-pointers -- one by Christa Reed and another by Paris Kea -- to reach the final score of 57-49.
With the loss Vanderbilt falls to 8-6 on the season (0-2) in the SEC while Tennessee improves to 12-2 (2-0 in the SEC). Next the Dores visit Baton Rouge, LA, to play the LSU Lady Tigers. Next home game is Sunday January 11 against Mississippi State for the team's annual "Jam the Gym" promotion. All tickets cost $1, and gametime is 2 p.m.
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Photos copyright 2015 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com