Following a thrilling double-overtime win at Florida on Sunday, Vanderbilt will look to win two straight games on the road for the first time this season when the Commodores play at Georgia at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday. The Commodores (16-7, 7-3 SEC) have won three straight games and are in fourth in the SEC, while Georgia (18-5, 8-2 SEC) is in second place and has won two straight.
Like the Commodores, the Lady Bulldogs are perfect at home (11-0). Meanwhile, Vanderbilt is 3-7 on the road and will be looking to win its second straight road game for the first time this season. #24/RV Georgia is coming off an 81-54 win over Alabama on Sunday. The game will be Georgia’s first of the year against the teams that currently are in the top four of the SEC standings (Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt).
The game will air on CSS with Matt Stewart and Joe Ciampi on the call. It is Vanderbilt’s fifth straight game that will air on television. Five of Vanderbilt’s final six regular season games will air on television.
Georgia is one of two SEC teams, Tennessee being the other, that Vanderbilt does not have a winning record against. Georgia leads the series 30-23 and Vanderbilt is just 6-15 in Athens. However, Vanderbilt has won three straight in the series and six of the last seven overall. The Commodores have lost two of their last three games at Georgia with their last win coming Feb. 3, 2008 (61-54).
Vanderbilt is coming off a 103-97 win in double overtime over Florida on Sunday. It was its first double overtime game since 2005. Vanderbilt had three players score 20-plus points for the first time since the 2004 season. Vanderbilt also found its way to the foul line 41 times compared to just 18 trips by Florida.
Vanderbilt’s game against Georgia 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 Vanderbilt has proven it can win at home time and time again this season, but the Commodores’ struggles have come on the road this season. Those struggles ended for at least one day on Super Bowl Sunday as Vanderbilt gutted out a double-overtime thriller, 103-97, over Florida at the O’Connell Center.
The win was Vanderbilt’s third in a row and just the team’s third this season on the road as the Commodores improved to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in the SEC. Florida fell to 14-11 overall and 4-7 in the SEC.
Five players scored in double figures for Vanderbilt, led by Tiffany Clarke and Stephanie Holzer, who each had 23 points. Clarke also added a career-high 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Hannah Tuomi also added 20 points.
Vanderbilt opened up an 11-point lead at the half and unlike in previous road collapses, the Commodores did not let the Gators overwhelm them with a huge second-half run.
The Gators chipped away at Vanderbilt’s lead and tied the score at 83 with 20 seconds to play. Vanderbilt’s Jence Rhoads had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation, but her jumper rolled off the rim.
The win came in VU’s first double overtime game since Feb. 3, 2005 at Mississippi State — also a win.
About Georgia The Lady Bulldogs are coached by Andy Landers, who is in his 32nd season at Georgia. Landers guided Georgia to a 25-9 record and a trip to the Sweet 16 last season. The Lady Bulldogs are 11-0 at home this season and are led by sophomore guard Jasmine Jame (11.8 ppg) and Porsha Phillips (11.0 ppg). Landers has guided UGA to 16 straight NCAA Tournament and 27 overall.
Georgia Series Vanderbilt is 23-30 all-time against Georgia. The Commodores 6-15 all-time at Georgia and have lost two of their last three in Athens. Vanderbilt has won three straight and six of seven against Georgia. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb is 10-5 against the Lady Bulldogs, including a 2-2 mark in Athens.
Brown & Clarke from Peach State Vanderbilt sophomores Elan Brown and Tiffany Clarke are both from the state of Georgia. Brown played high school ball at Woodward Academy in Atlanta and Clarke prepped at Norcross High School in Duluth. The two sophomores played AAU basketball for the Georgia Metros.
Puleo a Georgia Transfer Junior Angela Puleo, a native of Maryville, Tenn., began her college career at Georgia before transferring to Vanderbilt after her sophomore season. Puleo averaged 7.8 points in two season and was an SEC All-Freshman selection. Puleo has started the last three games for the Commodores.
Double Overtime Win in the Swamp Vanderbilt earned a 103-97 win in double overtime at Florida on Sunday. It was Vanderbilt’s first double overtime game since Feb. 3, 2005 at Mississippi State — also a win (106-98). The overtime game was Vanderbilt’s first of the season, and the Commodores have now won five straight overtime games. It was Vanderbilt’s sixth all-time double overtime game. Vanderbilt has never played a game that has spanned longer than two OT’s. The 200 combined points in the game were the second most in school history behind the 204 points in the Mississippi State game in 2005.
Scorching the Nets During Vanderbilt’s current three-game winning streak, the Commodores have shot the ball particularly well. In those wins over Ole Miss, LSU and at Florida, Vanderbilt shot 52.7% from the floor (88-of-67). The Commodores have also been sharing the ball well and had assists on 55 of the 88 baskets (62.5%). In the last two games, Vanderbilt shot 53.3% against LSU and 55.4% against Florida.
Not Living by the Three Vanderbilt has long been known as a team with outstanding three-point shooting. The Commodores are again terrific from beyond the arc, but in the last two games, Vanderbilt has proven it can win without the trifecta. Against LSU and Florida, Vanderbilt combined to make just five three-pointers — the fewest in a two-game span this season.
Strong Defensive Efforts as of Late With the exception of Vanderbilt’s double overtime win at Florida, Vanderbilt has had strong defensive efforts as of late. In games against Ole Miss and LSU, 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.
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 3-7 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 72.3 points per game in 10 road games. Even more telling is Vanderbilt’s defense at home and away. VU is giving up 73.5 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.
Generous Commodores Vanderbilt leads the SEC in assists (16.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0). Vanderbilt also leads the SEC in assists in conference games only.
Holzer Named SEC Player of the Week Stephanie Holzer was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 7 after averaging 23 points and six rebounds in wins against LSU and at Florida. Holzer is the first SEC freshman to win the award since 2005. Her award was the second of the season for the Commodores, marking the first time since 2005 Vanderbilt has had two players earn SEC Player of the Week honors in the same season.