Newly ranked Commodores head to Oxford

Jasmine Lister and the Commodores face Ole Miss on the road Thursday.

Jan. 15, 2014

Thursday's game
Ole Mis (9-8, 0-3 SEC) at Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-1 SEC)

Thursday, Jan. 16
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Tad Smith Coliseum (Oxford, Miss.)
Radio: 560 AM, 95.9 FM (Charlie Mattos)
TV: none
Live Stats: View

For the Vanderbilt women's basketball, the goal is very simple: Avoid a letdown.

After upsetting No. 8/8 Tennessee last weekend and catapulting into both the AP and USA Today rankings, the No. 24/25 Commodores (14-3, 3-1) head to Oxford, Miss., on Thursday night to face the Rebels (9-8, 0-3).

Vanderbilt will roll into the game on a hot streak that has seen the Commodores win 11 of their past 12 games and was punctuated by Sunday's 74-63 comeback victory over the Lady Vols.

But the Commodores need to be wary of Ole Miss, and perhaps learn a lesson from history: The last time that Vanderbilt beat Tennessee -- with a 93-79 victory in Nashville on Feb. 9, 2012 -- the Commodores lost three of their next four games.

The Vanderbilt coaching staff has likely pointed out that stat to the players this week while preparing for an Ole Miss team that is certainly capable of pulling off an upset.

Despite opening SEC play with losses to Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama, the Rebels have proven they have enough talent to compete with the elite teams in the country. Roughly three weeks ago, the Rebels went toe-to-toe with No. 7/7 Baylor before eventually suffering an 87-80 loss.

The game featured eight lead changes and 10 ties before Baylor finally pulled away in the final two minutes.

If that game didn't get Vanderbilt's attention, perhaps this stat will: Ole Miss has been solid at home this season, winning seven of nine games at Tad Smith Coliseum.

Tia Faleru has been a consistent bright spot for the Rebels. She is averaging 16.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and leads the ream in both categories.

Today's game marks the 44th all-time meeting between the Commodores and Rebels in a series that dates back to the 1977-78 season. Vanderbilt owns a 25-18 lead in the series.

Vanderbilt has four straight games against Ole Miss, and six of the past seven. Dating back to the 1996-97 season, the Commodores have won 19 of the last 23 matchups.

Ole Miss' most recent win in the series came during the 2010-11 season, when the Rebels won 72-67 in Oxford.

Vanderbilt has gone 10-4 against Ole Miss since the arrival of head coach Melanie Balcomb in 2002. All four of the losses have come in Oxford.

Senior guard Jasmine Lister played an instrumental role in Sunday's upset of Tennessee, and she is drawing plenty of accolades for her performance.

Lister, who scored 22 points in Vanderbilt's comeback win over the No. 8/8 Lady Vols, was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday. The honor comes on the heels of Lister being named espnW's Player of the Week on Sunday night.

Lister had 22 points and five assists in the Commodores' 74-63 win over the Lady Vols. She scored seven straight points during a pivotal stretch in second half as Vanderbilt flipped a 10-point deficit into a double-digit win.

Lister also shined against Auburn earlier in the week. She produced her sixth career double-double with 23 points and 10 assists in Vanderbilt's 74-65 road victory, which marked the Commodores 21st straight win over the Lady Tigers.



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