Following a 70-60 win over Samford on Thursday, Vanderbilt will face its stiffest test of the young season on Sunday when the Commodores travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on No. 16/14 Florida State at 1 p.m. CT. Sunday's game is part of the first-ever Super Six Series, which pits two teams from each of the six power conferences against one another.
Vanderbilt (2-0) will be playing away from home for the first time this year after finishing 8-6 away from Memorial Gym last season. Florida State advanced to the Elite Eight in 2010 and is already 3-0 this season with home wins over Alabama State and Colorado State and a road win at Auburn. Sunday's game will mark the first all-time meeting between the two schools.
Vanderbilt will also be playing its first of six non-conference games away from Nashville. The team also has road games at Bowling Green, Denver, Duquesne and a tournament in Blacksburg, Va., before New Year's.
Sunday's game will be broadcast on 560 AM in Nashville with longtime play-by-play announcer Charlie Mattos on the call.
Success in November
Under Head Coach Melanie Balcomb the Commodores are 43-4 in the month of November with all four losses occurring on the road. Vanderbilt last lost in Novemeber on Nov. 23, 2008 at Michigan.
Last Time Out
Behind Stephanie Holzer's 26 points, including 19 in the second half, Vanderbilt held off a feisty Samford team on Thursday with a 70-60 win. The Commodores led by 12 in the first half, but Samford was able to tie the game at 28 early in the second half. Vanderbilt took a 49-38 lead with 11:18 to play after going on a 10-2 run.
Leading 49-38, Holzer took charge of the game, scoring 11 straight points for Vanderbilt and 15 out of 17 at one point to secure the win. Holzer also finished with nine rebounds and two blocks. Senior Hannah Tuomi finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Jasmine Lister also scored 14 points.
The Commodores were playing without starting guards Christina Foggie and Jence Rhoads, both of which are day-to-day with injuries. Holzer earned the first start of her career after scoring 20 points and 11 rebounds in her Commodore debut against Howard. Junior Angela Puleo also earned the first start as a Commodore after transferring from Georgia.
Vanderbilt won despite turning the ball over 25 times. The Commodores have turned the ball over more than their opponent in both games this season. Vanderbilt shot 57.1% from the floor, while Samford shot 41.7%.
About Florida State
The Seminoles are coached by 14th-year Head Coach Sue Semrau. Florida State has one 11 straight home games dating back to last season when the Seminoles finished 29-6 overall and tied for the ACC title with a 12-2 record.
Florida State returns two starters from last year and has been led by redshirt sophomore guard Alexa Deluzio, who has averaged 15.7 points and 4.3 rebounds over three games. Senior point guard Courtney Ward was named to the preseason All-ACC Team. Freshman forward Natasha Howard was tabbed to the ACC Newcomer to Watch list.
FSU opened the season with an 89-39 win against Alabama State, which was followed by a 67-61 win at Auburn. On Thursday, Florida State topped Colorado State 63-52.
Florida State has advanced to six straight NCAA Tournaments.
Vanderbilt vs. the ACC
Vanderbilt is 19-17 all-time against the ACC. The Commodores are 7-4 at home, 3-7 on the road, and 9-6 at neutral sites.
The last time Vanderbilt played an ACC school was November 28, 2009 when the Commodores beat NC State 77-71 in Memorial Gym. Sunday marks the first time Vanderbilt has played on an ACC opponent's home court since the Commodores beat Clemson 74-56 on November 20, 2007.
Vanderbilt has won six of its past nine games against the ACC, dating back to the 2006-07 season.
Vanderbilt vs. Ranked Foes
Vanderbilt holds a 7-8 record against ranked teams the past two years, going 5-6 in the regular season. If Vanderbilt were to win it would be the highest ranked opponent the Commodores have defeated since topping No. 6/6 Georgia last year.
This marks the first time Vanderbilt has faced a ranked team in the month of November since beating No. 10 Duke 68-55 on November 28, 2007. Dating back to the 2001-02 season, the Commodores are 3-1 against ranked teams in the month of November with the one loss coming to top-ranked Connecticut on November 18, 2001.
Holzer Remains a Force in the Paint
Redshirt freshman Stephanie Holzer is averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds through the first two games of her career after scoring 26 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Samford on Thursday. For the second game in a row Holzer scored 11 straight points at one point for the Commodores. She also scored 15 out of 17 points during that same stretch. The 26 points scored by Holzer were the most by a Vanderbilt freshman since Tiffany Clarke scored 27 against ETSU on Dec. 28, 2009.