Vanderbilt got off to a slow start. Ole Miss built a 12-6 lead in the first four minutes of the game, and with 13:11 remaining in the first half, the Lady Rebels still held a 5-point lead at 15-10.
But Ole Miss would come no closer. A couple of baskets by Zuzi Klimesova kicked off a 12-2 Vanderbilt run, including two 3-pointers from freshman Abi Ramsey, to re-establish a 20-point lead at 60-40 with 3:15 remaining the game. A layup by Chantelle Anderson and a couple of free throws by Von Kirk were the only scoring in the rest of the game, as the Commodores claimed the 62-42 victory.
Four Commodores scored in double figures, led by Chantelle Anderson with 16 points. Zuzi Klimesova and Ashley Earley added 14 points each, and Abi Ramsey scored 11 points off the bench. Anderson notched her second straight double double, pulling down 11 rebounds to go along with her 16 points. Earley and Klimesova each had 7 boards. Four different Commodores had 4 assists, and Klimesova had 4 steals.
Ole Miss was led in scoring by Amber Watts, who finished with 10 points. No other Lady Rebel scored in double figures. TaShondrea Moton was lreading rebounder with 7, and Sherika Wright was assist leader with 3.
For the game, the Commodores shot 46.3% from the field while holding the Lady Rebels to 29.8% shooting. Vanderbilt also out-rebounded Mississippi 38-26 and had 11 turnovers compared to 13 for Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt's four game home stand is now complete. Four of the next five games for the Commodores will be on the road beginning on Thursday night at Alabama. The only home game remaining in the month of January will be against Florida on January 24.
POST GAME COMMENTS:
The Press: Coach, can you talk about the tempo relative to what you've played?
Vanderbilt Coach Jim Foster: Coaches do what they think they need to do to win basketball games, and I think that they felt that they had to play it at less a tempo, they didn't want to run up and down. They wanted to extend the floor. I think for the most part we were fairly patient. Probably we could have been a little more aggressive at times. Some very young kids need to understand that. But we had a great defensive effort. That's the fourth time in a row. That was probably the focus of the basketball game.
Coach Foster: Well, we're better defensively. We certainly needed to change that part of us. And we certainly did. We've had four very good defensive performances in a row. And except for the Kentucky game -- I think we tied in rebounding with them. We probably didn't rebound as well against Kentucky as we would have liked. And I think that the things that we're doing defensively have made Chantelle a more effective defender and more of a presence in the middle. I think between Chantelle and Candice we've got some shot blockers now. It's just another dimension to us. It was nice to see our freshman -- I thought Ramsey and Earley played very well today and made big shots and made plays, and that's encouraging.
The Press: Can you talk about Ashley's play?
Coach Foster: Well, I think Ashley's learning a lesson. You come in to college and it's a little bit different, and the SEC's a lot different. And I think she's trying to figure that out. Rebounding in this league is a little bit harder than she's used to. And she's going to pick her aggressiveness and I think help us in that dimension but she can score off the bounce, and we've needed that in this program for a long time. And she's very good with the ball. She doesn't make a lot of mistakes -- a great assist to turnover ratio for a freshman that plays in the post, absolutely terrific.
Coach Foster: Well, I think only one player struggled. If you look, McElhiney's 1 for 2, Abi Ramsey's 3 for 6. I think one player struggled today, and someone came in and picked her up. So I look at it more in that vein. Jillian had a tough day, and Abi Ramsey picked her up.
The Press: Coach, did you do anything different in the 2nd half to limit their shots?
Coach Foster: Well, I think they probably tried to get a little more patient and try to figure out what we were doing defensively. We changed up a lot today, and we did a lot of different looks defensively, and I think that caused them some problems. But on the whole, great defensive effort. Good job on the boards, took care of the ball. This is a good league win.
Coach Foster: People say that, I don't think she's surprising anyone. I think she's had a terrific career, and I think she does things every night, and if the other teams aren't game planning her, then they're not watching enough film. She gives us dimensions and does things that a senior should do. I think she'll be a first round draft choice in the WNBA, and shame on them if they're ignoring her.
The Press: Chantelle, can you talk a little bit about the tempo?
Chantelle Anderson: Well, I think we kind of expected them to try to run up and down the floor a little bit more than they did. They tried to slow it down maybe more than they're used to and run a little more halfcourt offense than we thought they would. But we were willing to play however they wanted to, and we don't mind a halfcourt game, and we don't mind a running game either. So I don't think it really affected us.
The Press: Speaking of leadership, can you talk about Candice?
Coach Foster: Candice does great things for us and gives us a lot of energy off the bench. She brings energy into the game. She takes her time. She reads defensively what the other team is doing, and I think that's why her field goal percentage is what it is. It probably went down a little bit today with a rushed shot. But she defends, she blocked a shot, she gives us that dimension. She moves her feet quickly. But between the ears, she's just a special kid. She gives us a lot of wisdom.
The Press: Chantelle, you had another double double tonight for your second in a row, after not having had any earliler in the season. What's the difference?
Chantelle: I think I'm working a little harder on the boards, trying to block people out more. And I know that for a while I was blocking out, but I was going up for the ball and I wasn't going up strong so it was going through my hands a lot. I was getting my hands on it a little bit more than I had previously but I just wasn't grabbing it. Now I'm grabbing them a little bit more. I read something that said I couldn't rebound, so I don't like people telling me I can't do something.
Coach Foster (interrupting): So keep writing it, please. (laughter) She can't block shots. She can't shoot a three. (laughter)
The Press: Coach, do you think the improved defensive is a better thing to take on the road than improve offense would be?
Coach Foster: I think our offensive output is terrific. I mean, my guess we probably still lead this league in field goal percentage. I think the only thing we didn't do today is that we could have been a little bit more aggressive. Our stat of making more foul shots than the other team shoots was not there today, and I think that might have been lack of aggressiveness. But I don't see anything that I would complain about our offense in terms of . . . maybe McElhiney needs to be a little bit more aggressive, maybe McElhiney needs to shoot the ball a little bit more, and we need to pick up that dimension. Everybody else is getting shots that they're very capable of making.
Coach Foster: Well, I think defense is an attitude. The whole thing is an attitude, and we're developing a little bit of an attitude about defense, and it's become more important to us and we understand that we can't rely on our offense and that the games that we have lost, we didn't guard people. We found a formula that works. We're going to keep after it. I think it keeps Chantelle out of foul trouble. It makes her a better rebounder. It puts a little bit of pressure on the other teams, and it's some different looks and wrinkles we have in our defense right now. I'd rather have them both functioning at a high level, and I think we're closer to that.
The Press: Speaking of attitude, how did it feel to be down five or six points on your home court?
The Press: Candice, talk about when you came into the game and your blocked shot kind of started off that run. What's it like filling that role?
Candice Storey: i just know when I come in that it's important to do the little things be running down on defense, running down on offense. I think it's important when you're coming off the bench that the other team doesn't think the level of play goes down. So I think it's important, whether it's like two minutes or ten minutes or whatever, it's important that they don't think that . . I mean, because I think you automatically think when the second string comes in or third string or whatever that it's going to get a little bit easier for you. So I think that everybody on our team when they come in, they make it pretty important to show the other team that the level of play doesn't decrease. So I just try to make that happen while I'm in there.
Vanderbilt's Zuzana Klimesova gets a hand in the eye as she battles Mississippi's TaShondrea Moton for a rebound in the first half.(AP Photo/John Russell)
Mississippi's TaShondrea Moton (20), and Amber Watts (33), battle Vanderbilt's Chantelle Anderson (21), for a rebound in the second half.(AP Photo/John Russell)
Vanderbilt's Jillian Danker, right, gets pressure from Mississippi's TaShondrea Moton, background, and Ally Kelly in the second half.(AP Photo/John Russell)
HOME TEAM: Vanderbilt 62 VISITORS: Mississippi 42 NR -NAME- FG-FA 3M-3A FT-FA RB AS F TP NR -NAME- FG-FA 3M-3A FT-FA RB AS F TP 12 BATTLE, 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 02 GIST,TE 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 0 13 KLIMESO 6-10 0-0 2-2 7 3 2 14 05 CANSDAL 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 20 RAMSEY, 4-9 3-6 0-0 4 0 1 11 10 WRIGHT, 3-13 0-1 2-2 2 3 2 8 21 ANDERSO 7-12 0-1 2-2 11 3 2 16 11 BROWN,C 2-5 2-3 0-0 0 1 0 6 22 MCELHIN 1-2 1-2 0-1 2 3 2 3 12 UFFORD, 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 23 COLLI,J 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 13 KELLY,A 2-5 2-3 0-0 5 1 1 6 24 HAGER,H 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 20 MOTON,T 2-9 0-0 1-2 7 1 3 5 32 EARLEY, 5-10 0-1 4-6 7 3 1 14 21 MADEWEL 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 33 DANKER, 1-6 0-5 0-0 2 2 0 2 22 HENLEY, 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 0 0 0 42 BENNING 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 0 32 KIRK,VO 1-1 0-0 5-5 0 1 3 7 43 CORBETT 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 33 WATTS,A 4-8 0-0 2-2 3 0 3 10 50 STOREY, 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2 44 JACKSON 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 0 4 0