Vanderbilt has won four straight games after snapping a three-game losing streak with a win at Kentucky. The Commodores held on to defeat Auburn last Thursday night at home. Senior forward Ashley Earley scored a team-high 17 points and the Commodores put up a defensive stop in the final five seconds to preserve a 66-64 win. Dee Davis and Abi Ramsey each had 12 points while Cherish Stringfield and Katie Antony combined for 19 points off the bench.
The Commodores committed a season-low eight turnovers, but shot just 40 percent from the field. Vandy has been hot lately during its four-game win streak. Earley has been averaging 19 points and 10.8 rebounds while Carla Thomas has averaged 18.8 points and 6.0 boards. Senior Abi Ramsey also has been hot hitting 44 percent (16-36) of her three-pointers while averaging 16.5 points.
Vandy has been shooting 49.4 percent from the floor and 40.5 percent from three-point range during its winning streak. On the season, Earley, a 2005 John R. Wooden Award nominee, continues to lead the team averaging 18.6 points and 9.1 rebounds. In conference play, she tallies 17.6 points and 9.7 boards.
SCOUTING THE TENNESSEE LADY VOLS
No. 5 Tennessee (18-4, 8-1 SEC) had its 10-game win streak snapped on the road at LSU last Thursday night. Shanna Zolman scored a team-high 21 points, but Seimone Augustus and Scholanda Hoston combined for 41 points to hand the Lady Vols a 68-58 loss. Nicky Anosike grabbed 10 rebounds for the Lady Vols who shot just 31 percent in the contest. Tennessee out-rebounded the Lady Tigers, 44-35. It was the first SEC regular season loss for Tennessee in 42 games.
Vanderbilt defeated the Lady Vols during the regular season in 2002. Zolman is second on the team in scoring averaging 11.8 points, but she leads the team in SEC games scoring 16.6 points in league play. Shyra Ely leads the team averaging 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. Tennessee is shooting 40 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from three-point range. The Lady Vols are holding opponents to 27 percent from three-point range and forcing them into 19.7 turnovers per game. Tennessee has a +5.6 rebounding margin.
THE TENNESSEE SERIES
This will be the 49th meeting between Vanderbilt and Tennessee on the basketball court. Tennessee leads the all-time series, 42-6. The Commodores are 0-5 under Melanie Balcomb against Tennessee. Vanderbilt last defeated Tennessee during the 2001-02 season when VU won 76-59 in Nashville. Tennessee has won six straight games against the Commodores.
LAST TIME AGAINST TENNESSEE
Shanna Zolman scored 20 points and Tennessee rallied from a 15-point deficit in the first half to knock off Vanderbilt, 79-65, earlier this season at Memorial Gym. Carla Thomas led the Commodores with 18 points and Dee Davis added 14 points. Tennessee shot 58.3 percent in the second half while Vandy only shot 39.3 percent.
Vanderbilt returns home Thursday night for one of its last two home games in the regular season. The Commodores host Arkansas at 7 p.m.