The eyes of the nation will be on Vanderbilt basketball on Saturday when the men’s and women’s teams play at No. 5/6 Tennessee in a pair of games that will be showcased on national television as part of ESPN’s College GameDay airing from Knoxville. The men’s team will play Tennessee at 11 a.m. CT, while the women will face the Lady Vols at 7 p.m. CT. Both games will air on ESPN.
The appearance on ESPN College GameDay will be the first for Vanderbilt’s basketball programs and will mark the first time the show has originated from a site that has featured a men’s and women’s game played in the same day. Vanderbilt’s primetime game will be just the second women’s game to air on ESPN’s College GameDay. Last year, Notre Dame and UConn played on GameDay.
GameDay coverage will begin at 9 a.m. CT on ESPN and will continue on ESPNU leading up to the tip of the men’s game at 11 a.m. The men’s game will be called by Dick Vitale and Dan Shulman with Doris Burke working the sidelines.
ESPN will resume College GameDay coverage at 6 p.m. CT leading up to the women’s game, which will tip at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. Shulman (play-by-play) and Burke (analyst) will have the call of the women’s game.
Saturday will mark the season’s inaugural airing of College GameDay for the 2011 season. The College GameDay pregame show will feature host Rece Davis with analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight. This is the seventh season of the eight-week show, which airs from a different campus location each week. Vanderbilt’s football team hosted College GameDay in 2008 against Auburn.
Vanderbilt (12-5, 3-1 SEC) will be looking to continue its success in league play on Saturday. After dropping their SEC opener at Ole Miss, the Commodores have won three straight games after knocking off Alabama on the road, 82-66, on Thursday. Tennessee (16-2, 4-0 SEC) is atop the SEC standings and is coming off a dominating win at Florida on Thursday.
Vanderbilt will be looking for its first win in Knoxville, where the Commodores are 0-25 all-time. Vanderbilt is 7-55 all-time against the Lady Vols with its last win coming Jan. 11, 2009 in Nashville (74-58). Vanderbilt’s last two games in Knoxville have been decided by single digits. In the five meetings since the 2008-09 season, Vanderbilt has posted a win and three of the four Vanderbilt losses have been decided by single digits.
The Commodores are 2-5 on the road this season following their win at Alabama on Thursday. Saturday’s game will be Vanderbilt’s second against a ranked foe. The Commodores fell to then No. 16/14 Florida State 72-66 in November.
Vanderbilt’s week has been back-loaded with travel. The team departed for Alabama on Wednesday evening and returned late Thursday night before turning around and departing for Knoxville on Friday evening.
Saturday’s game will air on 560 AM in Nashville with longtime play-by-play announcer Charlie Mattos on the call. The game will be webcast on ESPN3.com and fans may listen to Vanderbilt’s broadcast of the game online by subscribing to All-Access on VUCommodores.com.
Last Time Out Looking to right the ship on the road in the team’s final test before Saturday’s primetime matchup on ESPN at Tennessee, Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team earned its first SEC road win of the season with an 82-66 win at Alabama on Thursday at Coleman Coliseum.
The win was Vanderbilt’s third in a row and snapped a two-game losing streak on the road in which the Commodores (12-5, 3-1 SEC) lost leads of 17 and 18 points in games at Virginia Tech and Ole Miss. It was the 10th straight win for Vanderbilt against Alabama. (11-6, 0-4 SEC).
Vanderbilt entered the game 1-5 on the road and was in need of a road win heading into Knoxville on Saturday. After a back-and-forth first half which featured five lead changes and four ties, the Commodores exerted their strength in the second half by opening the half on a 14-1 run to take a 53-35 lead with 13:58 to play.
The Commodores were able to capitalize on Alabama misfiring on its first 13 shots of the half. Alabama did not hit a field goal until the 12:19 mark of the half.
The Commodores had four players score in double figures, led by Jence Rhoads, who had her third 20-point game of the season, finishing with 20 points and six assists. Hannah Tuomi added 19 and Stephanie Holzer had her fourth double-double of the season and second in three games with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmine Lister added 10.
About Tennessee Tennessee finished non-conference play with a 12-2 record having lost to Georgetown and Baylor.
The Lady Vols are one of only two SEC teams (Georgia) the Commodores have a losing record against. Vanderbilt is 7-55 against Tennessee with the last win coming Jan. 11, 2009 in Nashville (74-58).
The Lady Vols had three players earn preseason All-SEC accolades. Guards Angie Bjorklund and Shekinna Stricklen were named preseason first team All-SEC and forward Glory Johnson and center Kelley Cain were second team selections.
Tennessee Series Vanderbilt is 7-55 all-time against Tennessee and is 0-25 all-time in Knoxville. Vanderbilt’s last two games in Knoxville have been decided by single digits. In the five meetings since the 2008-09 season, Vanderbilt has posted a win and three of the four Vanderbilt losses have been decided by single digits. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb is 1-18 against the Lady Vols.
Vanderbilt’s Wins The Commodores have defeated Tennessee seven times in school history. Here’s a look at those wins.
70 is the Magic Number Vanderbilt is 12-0 when it holds an opponent to less than 70 points and 0-5 when an opponent scores at least 70 points.
Tuomi, Rhoads Pacing VU Since Vanderbilt’s game against Western Kentucky on Dec. 21, seniors Jence Rhoads and Hannah Tuomi have been the oil of Vanderbilt’s motor. During the seven-game span where VU is 5-2, the two lead the team in scoring and rank second and third in rebounding. Rhoads is averaging 15.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. Tuomi is averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds. Tuomi is also shooting 60.9 percent from the floor and Rhoads isn’t far behind at 51.1 percent.
Holzer Becoming a Force Redshirt freshman Stephanie Holzer has fared well in VU’s last three games, averaging a double-double (13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds). Holzer posted the fourth double-double of her career and second in three games at Alabama, collecting 10 rebounds to go along with 17 points.
Commodores’ Shooting Touch Returns After posting its four lowest shooting percentages in their previous five games, the Commodores have had their second best shooting performance of the season in each of its last two games. VU shot 52.0% against Auburn and then 56.9% at Alabama.
Vanderbilt leads the SEC in free-throw percentage, and rank second in field-goal percentage and three-point percentage. Vanderbilt’s worst shooting game came against Mississippi State on Jan. 6 when VU shot 34.5 percent from the field.
Nail-Biters in Knoxville Vanderbilt is 0-25 all-time in Knoxville, but there have been many times where the Commodores were close to knocking off Tennessee on its home floor.
Vanderbilt’s last two games in Knoxville have been decided by single digits. Here’s a brief look at some of the closest games in recent years.
2010 - L, 57-64 Last season, Vanderbilt lost 64-57, but were within two points with under two minutes to play. The Commodores made 10-of-19 three-pointers, but committed 27 turnovers without injured point guard Jence Rhoads.
2009 - L, 66-75 The Commodores were within one, 57-56, with 7:02 to play, but Tennessee used a 16-3 run to distance themselves from the Commodores before holding on to a 75-66 win.
2006 - L, 67-70 The Commodores led the majority of the game and even held a 14-point cushion in the first half before falling 70-67. After Vanderbilt’s Carla Thomas hit a jumper with 6:14 remaining to put the Commodores up by seven, Tennessee scored four quick points and never looked back. Down by three, Vanderbilt had the final possession but Caroline Williams’ last-second three-point shot was blocked and recovered by Candace Parker to end the game.
2002- L, 68-75 Vanderbilt holds a 61-60 lead and is within one, 69-68, with 1:30 to play before Tennessee escapes with a 75-68 win.
2001 - L, 66-70 18th-ranked Vanderbilt’s second-half resurgence was not enough to stop No. 1 Tennessee from winning 70-66. Vanderbilt made a push and outscored Tennessee 40-30 in the second half, but the Lady Vols were able to hold on in the final minutes to close out the game.
1996 - L, 82-85 VU shot 60% (6-for-10) from three-point range and headed into half up 11 but fell short in the second to drop 85-82 to Tennessee. After scoring 52 first-half points, the Commodores were outscored 44-30 in the second half.
Rhoads Nearing 1,000 Points Senior Jence Rhoads is seven points shy of becoming the 33rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
On Dec. 29, teammate Hannah Tuomi scored 11 points against Delaware to become the 32nd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.