Vanderbilt Commodores fall to Texas Tech Raiders

The #13-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 81-71 Saturday afternoon, despite a pair of 26-point games from Zuzi Klimesova and Chantelle Anderson.

The Red Raiders won the game by ruling the perimeter, limiting Vandy's vaunted outside shooters to only one 3-point basket on five attempts while sinking ten 3-pointers of their own at a 42% clip.

Vanderbilt took a very early 3-0 lead on a free throw by Zuzi Klimesova and a basket by Chantelle Anderson. But an 8-0 run put Texas Tech up 8-3 with 15:38, and the Red Raiders never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the game.

For most of the first half, the Texas Tech lead ranged between 5-7 points. Late in the half, the Red Raiders pushed the lead out to 34-22, but Vandy ended the first half on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to six points, 34-38, at halftime.

In the first few minutes of the second half, Vandy whittled away at the Texas Tech lead. A defensive rebound by Jenni Benningfield led to a jumper by Chantelle Anderson 46-44 with 15:22 remaining. Over the next five minutes, Texas Tech worked the lead back up to 8 points at 59-51, but Vandy was able to cut it back to 4 points at 61-57 on a basket by Zuzi Klimesova with 8:47 remaining.

But the Commodores would come no closer. For the next several minutes, the teams essentially traded baskets, but the Red Raiders were able to increase their lead through timely 3-point baskets. A jumper by Tanisha Ellison with 3:31 remaining gave Texas Tech a double digit lead at 74-63. Vanderbilt briefly cut the lead back to 9 points with a minute remaining, but when the final buzzer sounded, Texas Tech claimed a 81-71 victory.

The Commodores were led in scoring by Chantelle Anderson and Zuzi Klimesova, each with 26 points. No other Commodore scored in double figures. Zuzi was also leading rebounder with 11, followed by Anderson and Jillian Danker with 9 each. Ashley McElhiney added 7 assists.

Texas Tech's guards led the attack, with 23 points from Amber Tarr, 21 from Natalie Ritchie and 17 from Jia Perkins. Perkins added 9 assists and was also leading rebounding with 6.

The Commodores shot 49.1% from the field during the game compared to 47.8% for Texas Tech. They also ruled the boards, with a 42-30 rebounding edge. But two key stats in the game were ten 3-point baskets for Tech compared to only one for the Commodores, and 15 Commodore turnovers compared to only 6 for the Red Raiders.

Next Vanderbilt returns to Memorial Gym for the first time in over a month for a New Year's Eve matchup against Canisius.

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