Vanderbilt (15-7, 6-3 SEC) at Florida (14-10, 4-6 SEC) Date: Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 Time: Noon CT Location: Gainesville, Fla. Venue: Stephen C. O’Connell Center (12,000) Radio: 560 AM (Charlie Mattos) TV: CSS (Bernie Guenther, play-by-play; Joe Ciampi, analyst) Webcast: ESPN3.com Series: Vanderbilt leads 29-18 Last Meeting: February 24, 2010 (Vanderbilt 71 - Florida 60 (Nashville)
Vanderbilt will look to continue its strong play as of late on Sunday when the Commodores hit the road to face Florida at noon CT at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Commodores are riding a two-game winning streak and are coming off a 55-50 win over LSU on Thursday.
The Commodores have tied their best start in school history at home where they are 12-0, but the road has been a different story for Vanderbilt this season. The Commodores are 2-7 away from home this year with their only road SEC win coming at Alabama on Jan. 13.
Vanderbilt’s win over LSU vaulted the Commodores into fourth place. Meanwhile Florida (14-10, 4-6 SEC) has lost five of seven games and is currently in eighth place in the SEC.
The game will air on CSS with Bernie Guenther and Joe Ciampi on the call. It is Vanderbilt’s fourth straight game that will air on television. Six of Vanderbilt’s final seven regular season games will air on television.
Florida is coming off a 61-59 loss at home against Ole Miss on Thursday. The Gators are 9-3 at home this season, but have lost three of their last four at the O’Connell Center. Florida ranks near the middle of the pack in most statistical categories, but do lead the league in three-point field-goal percentage in SEC games only (37.6%). The Gators also rank third in field-goal percentage (40.7%) in SEC games only.
Vanderbilt has won six straight over the Gators, including two in a row at Florida. The Commodores have posted two of their top defensive efforts in the last two games, limiting Ole Miss and LSU to 46 points per game and 30.5 percent shooting. Against LSU, the Commodores won despite attempting a season low 45 field goals and not a single three-pointer in the second half. Vanderbilt did, however, shoot 53.3% from the floor — higher than any LSU opponent this season.
Vanderbilt’s game against Florida will air on 560 AM in Nashville with veteran play-by-play announcer Charlie Mattos on the call. A webcast will also be available on ESPN3.com. Fans may listen to the audio of the game online by subscribing to All-Access on VUCommodores.com.
Last Time Out Most games against LSU are low scoring, defensive battles and Thursday was no different for Vanderbilt, who matched LSU’s defensive intensity and scored just enough points to overcome a stingy LSU defense en route to a 55-50 victory over the Lady Tigers at Memorial Gym.
The win moved Vanderbilt (15-7 6-3 SEC) to 12-0 at home this season, matching the best home start to a season in school history (34 seasons). The Commodores have now won six of the last eight games against LSU (15-9, 5-5 SEC).
Despite scoring a season-low 55 points -- 23 of which came from freshman center Stephanie Holzer -- the Commodores posted the highest field-goal percentage of any LSU opponent this season (53.3%). The Lady Tigers entered the game as the SEC’s top defensive team, surrendering just 53.4 points per game, and they lived up to the billing as LSU held Vanderbilt to a season-low 45 field goal attempts and three three-point attempts.
LSU’s defense had an answer for all the Commodores except Holzer, who posted her third 20-point game of the season, but first since the second game of the year. Seemingly every time, LSU would pull close, it was Holzer, who came through with a bucket.
About Florida The Gators are coached by Amanda Butler, who is in her fourth season at her alma mater (’95). Butler has guided Florida to one NCAA appearance and two WNIT showings during her tenure. Last season the Gators advanced to the second round of the WNIT.
Florida Series Vanderbilt is 29-18 all-time against Florida and is 10-10 in games played at Florida. The Commodores have won six straight with the Gators, including two in a row in Gainesville dating back to a 73-59 loss at Florida on Jan. 22, 2006. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb is 10-3 all-time against Florida. She is also 4-2 all-time in games at Florida.
Coleman From Sunshine State Vanderbilt junior Jordan Coleman is the only Florida native on the Commodore roster. Coleman hails from Orlando, Fla. (Lake Mary HS).
Getting Defensive Vanderbilt has had its best defensive outings in consecutive games against Ole Miss and LSU. In those two games, VU limited its opponent to 46 points per game and just 30.5 percent shooting.
The Commodores held Ole Miss to 42 points and 25.4 percent shooting - both season lows for a Vanderbilt opponent. The 42 points were the fewest by a VU opponent since UT Martin scored 29 on Dec. 21, 2008. The field-goal percentage was also the lowest since UT Martin shot 17.6% from the floor in the same game.
Against LSU, Vanderbilt held the Lady Tigers to just 21 first half points and 1-of-15 (6.7%) shooting from beyond the arc.
Best Home Starts Vanderbilt is 12-0 at home this season, matching its best home start in school history with the 2001-02 and 1992-93 teams. This is the 34th season of Vanderbilt basketball.
As for consecutive wins at home spanning multiple seasons, Vanderbilt most recently won 13 straight games from the end of the 2005-06 season through the start of the 2006-07 season. This year, the Commodores finished their non-conference slate undefeated (7-0) for the first time since going 9-0 during the 2006-07 season.
Rhoads Reaches 500 Assists Senior Jence Rhoads had three assists against LSU to reach 500 in her career. Rhoads became just the fifth player in school history to reach 500 assists and the first since Dee Davis (04-07).
Rhoads Nearing Rare Company Senior Jence Rhoads is well on her way to becoming the second player in school history to score 1,000 points, have 500 assists and collect 400 rebounds. Rhonda Blades (92-95) is the only other player to accomplish this feat. Rhoads has already topped 1,000 points and 500 assists and enters Sunday’s game with 388 rebounds.
70 is the Magic Number Vanderbilt is 15-1 when it holds an opponent to less than 70 points and 0-6 when an opponent scores at least 70 points. The only loss came at Tennessee when the Lady Vols scored 68. Vanderbilt is also 11-0 when its scores at least 70 points.
Bumpy Road Vanderbilt started 0-3 on the road for the first time since the 1998-99 season and were 1-5 and and now 2-7 on the road. The seven road losses are the most since the team went 5-9 away from home during the 1999-2000 season. VU is averaging 73.8 points per game in 12 home games and 68.8 points per game in nine road games. Even more telling is Vanderbilt’s defense at home and away. VU is giving up 70.8 points on the road and just 55.1 points at home. The 1-5 start on the road was the team’s worst since posting the same mark in 1998-99.
Youthful Commodores Vanderbilt’s roster is one of the youngest in the conference. The 14-person roster includes nine underclassmen. Vanderbilt and Georgia are the only two teams in the SEC with four upperclassmen. Georgia has two juniors and two seniors.
Generous Commodores Vanderbilt leads the SEC in assists (16.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0). Vanderbilt also leads the SEC in assists in conference games only.
Puleo Heats Up Junior Angela Puleo, a Georgia transfer, has taken advantage of increased playing time. Puleo has made two straight starts and hit her only three-point attempts against LSU. Against Ole Miss on Jan. 30, Puleo made 6-of-9 three-pointers to finish with a season-high 20 points in just her second start of the season. The six three-pointers came in a season-high 36 minutes and were a career best. The six trays also tied for the sixth most in school history in a single game.
In her last three games, Puleo is shooting 11-of-15 (73.3%) from beyond the arc.
Holzer Carries Commodores Past LSU Freshman center Stephanie Holzer scored 23 of Vanderbilt’s 55 points against LSU. Holzer made 10-of-17 field-goal attempts in 29 minutes of play. Holzer also committed just one foul in the game.
Holzer Foul Trouble Limits PT Holzer has been very successful for Vanderbilt this season when she has been in the lineup, however her ability to stay out of foul trouble has been an issue. In 10 of the 18 games she has played, she has collected at least three fouls and has fouled out three times.
If Holzer were to play an entire 40 minutes, her projected output is astounding: 26.2 points,13.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. However, she also averages 6.3 fouls per 40 minutes.