Women's Hoops: Vanderbilt vs Ole Miss Preview
Middle Tennessee native Becky Myatt has graduated, but the Lady Rebels feature several familiar faces from last year, along with a couple of freshmen are making an impact early. 5'6 freshman guard Ally Kelly is currently leading scorer for the Lady Rebels, averaging 12.0 ppg. Kelly, who started the season as a walk-on, is also leading Ole Miss in 3-pointers made per game, averaging almost 2 per game. Another freshman, 6'3 center Amber Watts, is one of the leading shot-blockers in the SEC, averaging 2.6 blocks per game.
Kelly and Watts are joined in the starting lineup by a trio of seniors: 5'6 guard Sherika Wright (11.9 ppg, 5.5 apg), 5'10 forward TaShondrea Moton (4.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg), and 5'10 forward Von Kirk (10.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Kirk is the other primary 3-point threat for Ole Miss, also averaging almost 2 per game.
For the past two seasons, the Lady Rebels have had two dominant characteristics -- their aggressive, disruptive defense, and their propensity for launching 3-point shots from all over the court.
This year's statistics indicate that this year's team will be no different. On average, the Lady Rebels force over 22 TO's per game, half of those coming from steals, and they hold opponents to 38% shooting from the field. Ole Miss also leads the SEC in 3-pointers made, with an average of over 6 made per game -- as well as in 3-pointers attempted, averaging nearly 19 attempts per game. Kelly and Kirk are the primary 3-point threats, as each are averaging nearly 2 three-point baskets per game, but five other Lady Rebels have made at least 5 3-pointers this year. Tenisha Gist has hit only 6 on the season, but 3 of those came in a single game.
Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have played several common opponents. Both teams defeated Vermont, with Vandy winning 75-54 in Vermont, and Ole Miss winning 74-53 in Oxford. Both teams also defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Vanderbilt won 79-64 in Milwaukee, and Ole Miss won 74-57 on a neutral court. Finally, both teams played Temple in Philadelphia, with Vanderbilt winning 84-74, and Ole Miss losing 84-69.
In their SEC games this season, Ole Miss defeated Arkansas 81-46 in Oxford. In that game, four Lady Rebels scored in double figures: Sherika Wright with 16, TaShondrea Moton with 14, and Ally Kelly and Tenisha Gist with 13 each. In their 87-52 loss at Mississippi State, no Lady Rebel scored in double figures., as Ole Miss attempted 24 3-pointers, only connecting on 6 of them.
Vanderbilt enjoys a significant height advantage over Ole Miss. The Lady Rebels start only one player over 5'10, though 6'4 senior center Shaundra Jackson has been playing as many minutes as their 6'3 starting center Amber Watts. Expect the Lady Rebels to counter Vandy's height by attempting to disrupt Vandy's offense with very aggressive defense and to attempt to exploit Vandy's zone by launching a barrage three-pointers. Keys to the game for Vandy are keeping turnovers to a minimum and keying in on Kirk and Kelly from behind the arc.
PROBABLE STARTING LINE-UPS
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown
Sherika Wright 5-6 Sr. G Augusta, Ga. (11.7 ppg, 3.1rpg, 5.5 apg)
Ally Kelly 5-6 Fr. G Austin, Texas (12.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.5 apg, .359 3pt%)
TaShondrea Moton 5-10 Sr. F Prattville, Ala. (4.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg)
Von Kirk 5-10 Sr. F Huntsville, Ala. (10.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, .391 3pt%)
Amber Watts 6-3 Fr. C Utica, Miss. (5.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.5 blocks per game)
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. Hometown
Zuzi Klimesova 6-2 Sr. F Prague, Czech Rep. (16.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.5 apg)
Chantelle Anderson 6-6 Jr. C Vancouver, Wash. (20.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 apg)
Ashley McElhiney 5-6 Jr. G Gleason, Tenn. (9.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.1 apg)
Ashley Earley 5-11 Fr. F Memphis, Tenn. (6.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)
Jillian Danker 6-1 Sr. G Wilbraham, Mass. (10.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)
Ole Miss Results to Date:
@ Tennessee Tech L 55-77
Murray St W 78-58
@ Montana St W 66-59 (Montana St Tournament)
vs Wis-Milwaukee W 74-57 (Montana St Tournament)
Ark-Little Rock W 101-57
104 Middle Tenn St L 64-74
Vermont W 74-53
@ Arkansas St L 81-86 4 OT