Sophomore guard Jessica Mooney provided the 19th-ranked Commodores with a huge lift off the bench in their 68-55 win over No. 10 Duke on Wednesday. Mooney posted career highs in points (16) and rebounds (6) to go along with three steals.
"(Mooney) creates havoc," Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb said. "She makes people go fast and that creates offense. She created offense off her defense tonight and that is what we are looking for her to do. (Duke) is a team you have to attack and Jessica did that tonight."
Mooney did the bulk of her damage in the second half after playing just eight minutes in the opening frame. In the second half, Mooney exploded for 12 of her 16 points, five of her six rebounds and all three of her steals.
"I just want to help my team whatever way I can when I get out on the court," Mooney said. "It doesn't matter if I'm coming off the bench or starting as long as we get a win, that is what matters."
Mooney also provided an energy boost down the stretch after Jennifer Risper picked up her fourth foul with 4:13 to play.
"Jessica (Mooney) has an ability to play defense at a very high level and she just picked it up down the stretch," Balcomb said. "She picked it up when (Jennifer) Risper came out with four fouls and I think that was really important because Risper's level of intensity was incredible and I think we were feeding off that. To have Jessica in there doing the same thing really made it tough for them to score."
Mooney's previous career-high was 12 points against Lipscomb last December.
"She played a very good game," Duke head coach Joanne McCallie said. "She is a huge key to that team."
The win by Vanderbilt was its first over Duke since 1982, as the Commodores handed Duke its second consecutive losses for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.