Preview: Vanderbilt vs. Tulane

Dec. 4, 2016

Teams: Vanderbilt (7-1) vs. Tulane (5-2)
Day, Date: Monday, Dec. 5
Tip-off time: 7 p.m. (CT)
Site: Memorial Gym (Nashville, Tenn.)
Radio: WNSR 560 AM / 95.9 FM
TV: SECN+ (Online: ESPN3. Link: HERE)
Vanderbilt Game Notes: Vanderbilt Game Notes (Tulane) Get Acrobat Reader 
Tulane Game Notes: Tulane Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Just two days after winning the Air Force Classic, the Vanderbilt women are ready to move on to the next challenge -- and it could be a big one. The Commodores (7-1), winners of six straight games, will host a talented Tulane team on Monday at Memorial Gym in the first-ever meeting between the teams. Tulane, off to a 5-2 start, is ranked No. 12 in the nation in field goal percentage (through Saturday night) and was among the teams receiving votes in the USA Today's coaches poll last week. Here's a closer at the game:

l Update on the Commodores: With the freshmen duo of Erin Whalen and Cierra Walker each producing explosive performances, the Commodores won the Air Force Classic this past weekend. Whalen scored a game-high 19 points in Friday's 75-49 win over Air Force, and Walker produced a game-high 21 points in Vanderbilt's 73-63 win over SIUE in the tournament's championship game. … The Commodores won the tournament without the services of leading scorer Rebekah Dahlman, who sat out both games with a hamstring injury. Dahlman is averaging 14.5 points per game, and ranks among the SEC leaders in multiple offensive categories. … Two additional Commodores are also averaging double figures in scoring: Rachel Bell at 12.1 ppg, and Christa Reed at 10.3. … Marqu'es Webb leads Vanderbilt in rebounding at 9.5 per game.

l Dahlman doing big things: Redshirt junior guard Rebekah Dahlman, who missed both games of the Air Force Classic with a hamstring injury, is leading the nation in 3-point accuracy at 60.9 percent (14-for-23). She also ranks third in the SEC and 29th in the nation in free-throw percentage at 90.6 percent. Dahlman leads Vanderbilt in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists per game (4.8).

l What's trending: The Commodores continue to flash some impressive numbers, especially on the offensive end. They are shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point range, which leads the SEC and ranks 12th in the country. …. Vanderbilt is averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game, which leads the SEC. … The Commodores continue to be effective at the foul line, ranking second in the SEC and 15th in the country in free-throw percentage at 79.3 percent. They also rank third in the conference and 19th in the nation in free throws made (119) … Vanderbilt is ranked No. 2 in the SEC and 45th in the country in total assists with 114. … Vanderbilt freshman Cierra Walker ranks second in the SEC and 11th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4:1. (Note: Conference and national rankings in "What's trending" are through Saturday night).

l The lowdown on Tulane: The Green Wave, members of the American Athletic Conference, are off to a 5-2 start this season after going 23-12 last season and advancing to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. … Tulane ranks No. 12 in the nation in field goal percentage at 48.8 (through Saturday night), and has two players averaging in double figures: Kolby Morgan at 15.7 ppg and Leslie Vorpahl at 11.7 ppg. … The Green Wave, who are averaging 70.3 points per game and allowing 61.7 ppg, enter Monday's game looking to rebound from a 62-59 road loss to MTSU on Saturday. … The Green Wave has faced one SEC team this season, falling to Mississippi State, 66-49, on Nov. 16.

l Series History: This is the first-ever meeting between the teams.

l SEC strong: Vanderbilt is not the only SEC team off to hot start this season. As of Saturday night, the 14 SEC teams had combined for an 84-16 record. Leading the pack was a foursome of undefeated teams: Arkansas (8-0) Mississippi State (8-0), Alabama (6-0) and South Carolina (6-0).

l Milestone for Marqu'es Senior post player Marqu'es Webb notched her 500th career rebound in the first quarter of Friday's win against Air Force. Webb finished with eight rebounds against Air Force and pulled down 10 more in Saturday's win over SIUE. … Webb ranks seventh among active SEC players in career rebounds with 516 (through Saturday night).

l Dancy with the stars Junior guard Myka Dancy played a significant role in Vanderbilt's win over SIUE on Saturday night. Dancy played a career-high 13 minutes in the victory and scored a career-high five points. She was in the starting lineup to open the second half, and played the entire third quarter. Dancy finished 2-of-5 from the floor and also added a free throw.

l This and that: Vanderbilt has three players who rank among the SEC's Top-10 in career 3-pointers among active players: Rebekah Dahlman ranks sixth with 115, Christa Reed ranks ninth with 87, and Rachel Bell is 10th with 81. … With Sunday's victory, the Commodores finished November with a 5-1 record. It was the first time since the 2011 that Vanderbilt emerged from November with less than two losses. (VU went 5-2 in November in each of the past two seasons, 6-2 in 2013 and 4-3 in 2012. Vanderbilt was 7-0 in November of 2011). … The Commodores made 14 3-pointers against Kennesaw State in the season opener(finishing 14-of-26), which represents the most 3-pointers by an SEC team in a game this season.

l Last time out: Freshman guard Cierra Walker scored 21 points, making 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range, to help the Commodores defeat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 73-63 in the championship game of the Air Force Classic on Saturday. Walker also had a season-high six rebounds and added four assists while logging 37 minutes of playing time for the Commodores (7-1), who stretched their winning streak to six games. Vanderbilt closed the game on a 9-1 run in the final 2:03 to pull away from the Cougars (2-5) in a tight contest that featured nine lead changes and eight ties. The Commodores, who finished 12-of-25 from 3-point range, had four players in double figures: In addition to Walker's 21 points, Christa Reed had 13, Erin Whalen added 12 and Rachel Bell had 10. Whalen and Bell both made the All-Tournament team. Vanderbilt committed 18 turnovers and lost the rebounding battle, 47-37, including surrendering 23 offensive boards. But the Commodores were able to offset those issues with the strong outside shooting.

l New leader: Stephanie White is in her first season with the Commodores after being named head coach on May 24. Becoming just the fifth head coach in the program's history, White replaced former head coach Melanie Balcomb, who resigned in April after 14 seasons with the team. White came to Vanderbilt after spending two seasons as head coach of the WNBA's Indiana Fever. She led the team to the playoffs each season, including guiding the Fever to the 2015 WNBA Finals in her rookie season to become the first rookie coach in league history to take a team to the finals. During her playing career, she was a standout at Purdue, where she earned national player of the year honors after helping lead the Boilermakers to the 1999 NCAA championship. Her coach that season was Carolyn Peck, who now the associate coach on White's staff at Vanderbilt.

l Mad success at Memorial: Entering Monday's game, the Commodores have won 14 straight non-conference games on their home floor, dating back to a loss to Dayton on Dec. 21, 2014. … Vanderbilt has gone 44-2 against non-conference foes on its home floor since the start of the 2010-11 season.

l Signing Day: Comprising the inaugural signing class of Vanderbilt first-year head coach Stephanie White, a pair of highly-rated recruits -- Autumn Newby and Chelsie Hall -- signed National Letters of Intent with the Vanderbilt women's basketball team on Nov. 8. Newby is a 6-2 forward from Archer High in Lawrenceville, Ga., who averaged 12.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game last season. Hall is a 5-7 point guard from Seffner Christian Academy in Tampa, Fla., who averaged 21.2 points per game last year. Together, the two players form a signing class that was ranked No. 23 in the nation by BlueStar Report on Wednesday. (Newby was ranked by BlueStar as the No. 20 overall prospect and Hall was ranked No. 28).

l Looking ahead: After Monday's home game, the Commodores hit the road again, traveling to ETSU on Dec. 8.


 

 

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