Vanderbilt at No. 4/5 Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)
6 PM CT
ACC Network Extra
Complete Game Notes (PDF) | Livestats | ACC Network Extra
1. The Commodores will get their first shot at a ranked opponent this season when they travel to Louisville, Ky., to take on the No. 4/5 Louisville Cardinals. The trip to Louisville is one of two road trips for the Commodores in the month of Dec. The only other road trip is a trip to Baton Rouge to open the SEC slate on Dec. 31. The month of December features five home games and a stretch of four consecutive starting on Dec.16 against Memphis.
2. Vanderbilt is coming off a 77-74 win over Iowa State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Dec. 2. The win was the second consecutive for the Commodores and was the first win in Memorial Gym this season. Rachel Bell led the offense with 19 points and was one of four players in double figures while Autumn Newby grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds for her third career game with double-figure rebounds and second consecutive.
3. Thursday’s matchup with Louisville will be Vanderbilt’s first opportunity against a ranked opponent but it won’t be the last. Louisville is the first of seven Commodore opponents currently ranked in the AP’s Top 25. They Cardinals are currently the highest ranked opponent for Vanderbilt and joins Syracuse as non-conference foes currently ranked. The SEC slate will see the Dores take on six foes ranked in the AP Top 25.
4. Vanderbilt freshmen Chelsie Hall and Autumn Newby are making their mark early in their careers. Both are staples in the Vanderbilt starting lineup, with Hall starting nine of Vanderbilt’s contests and Newby cracking the lineup in eight games. Hall is the No. 2 scorer among SEC freshmen with 13.0 points per game and five games in double figures while Newby ranks No. 3 among SEC freshmen on the glass with 7.9 rebounds per game and three games with double figure rebounds.
5.Vanderbilt seniors Rachel Bell and Christa Reed are both moving closer to the 1,000-point milestone. Bell sits just 51 points from the milestone while Reed is 177 points away from 1,000. Bell, who is averaging 13.7 points, could hit the milestone as early as the Dec. 21 game against Belmont. Reed, who is currently averaging 10.1 points per game, is on pace to hit the milestone during SEC play.
Setting the Scene
-The Commodores are back on the road when they travel to Louisville on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 PM CT at the KFC Yum! Center. Vanderbilt will only hit the road twice this month with trips to Louisville and to Baton Rouge to open SEC play on New Year’s Eve.
Last Time Out
-Vanderbilt secured a win in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with a 77-74 win over Iowa State on Saturday. Rachel Bell scored a team-high 19 points and was joined in double figures by Chelsie Hall (16), Cierra Walker (14) and Christa Reed (10). For the second straight game, Autumn Newby reached double figure rebounds for the second straight game with a career-best 14 boards.
-Cierra Walker had a career night with a career-best eight rebounds to go with a career-high four three-point field goals. Walker reached double figures for the fourth game this season with 14 points.
-With the win over Iowa State, the Commodores earned their first win over a Power Five non-conference opponent in three tries. Vanderbilt dropped close contests to Syracuse (84-78) and Wisconsin (71-71). The Wisconsin game went into overtime.
-The Cardinals enter Thursday’s game with a perfect 9-0 record after defeating UT Martin, 91-56 on Tuesday afternoon. Louisville is in a stretch of four games in eight days.
-Asia Durr leads the offense with 17.6 points per game and is one of three players averaging double figures. Myisha Hines-Allen is averaging a double-double with 14.7 points per game and a team-best 10.1 rebounds per game.
-The Commodores and Cardinals have two opponents in common in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. Vanderbilt dropped its opener to Middle Tennessee on Nov. 10 and will take on Kentucky on Jan. 15. The Cardinals play Middle Tennessee on Saturday in Louisville.
With A Win
-The Commodores will move to 4-6 on the season and will string together three straight wins for the first time this season.
-Be Vanderbilt’s first win over a ranked opponent in the Stephanie White era and be the first since a road win over No. 12/12 Kentucky in Lexington in 2015-16.
- Move the Commodores to 9-5 all-time in the series with Louisville.
Hittin’ The Road … Again
Vanderbilt will hit the road for the seventh time this season when they take the short trip to Louisville on Thursday. Vanderbilt sports a 2-4 road record to date. Through the first month of the season the Commodores traveled 2,115.3 miles for six road games. Vanderbilt is looking to right its road woes this season. Last season, the Commodores posted a 3-10 record away from Nashville. Vanderbilt already has two road wins in the bag this season with wins at George Washington and at Saint Louis. A win in Louisville would equal the road win total from last season.
Ranked Foes On Deck
Thursday’s matchup with Louisville is the first of seven games with opponents ranked in the AP Top 25. he Cardinals are one of two non-conference foes ranked joining Syracuse, who the Commodores played in the Paradise Jam. Vanderbilt last defeated a ranked opponent in 2015-16 when they knocked off then-No. 12/12 Kentucky in Lexington. A win over Louisville would be the first win over a ranked opponent in the Stephanie White era.
Paradise Jam was Good for the Dores
Although they didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving in “Paradise” Vanderbilt has made an about face since the Paradise Jam. This chart shows some of the improvements the Commodores have made in the last five games. Paradise was good for the Commodores.
Before Paradise Jam
Scoring margin: -12.0
Field Goal Percentage: .428 (98-299)
Rebounds per game: 31.8
Assists per game: 13.5
After Paradise Jam
Scoring margin: +2.0
Field Goal Percentage: .453 (136-600)
Rebounds per game: 40.4
Assists per game: 17.5
40 is the Magic Number on the Glass
For the fourth time this season, the Commodores tallied 40+ rebounds against Iowa State with 42 rebounds. In games in which Vanderbilt grabs at least 40 rebounds they are 3-1. Conversely, when they fail to get to 40 rebounds Vanderbilt is 0-5.
Newby Doubles Up … in Back-to-Back Contests
Vanderbilt freshman Autumn Newby is making her mark on the defensive end early in the season. The Georgia native is averaging a team-best 7.9 rebounds and tallied her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Tulane. She has also had back-to-back games with 10+ rebounds. The freshman had a then-career-best 13 at Saint Louis and topped that mark against Iowa State with 14. Her 7.9 rebounds per game ranks her third among her SEC freshmen counterparts.
Reed Makes Four Straight in Double-Digits
Christa Reed has been one of Vanderbilt’s most consistent scorers this season. The senior from Bay Springs, Miss., is averaging 10.1 points per game and has reached double figures in each of the last four games and in six games this season. Reed’s four consecutive games in double figures is a team-best. Reed has increased her scoring output by nearly 3.6 points per game entering the Louisville contest from the start of the season.
Vanderbilt Bench Brings the Heat
The Vanderbilt bench has been vital this season. In the last two contests, the Commodore reserves have outscored their counterparts, 47-19 including a 24-7 advantage against Iowa State. On the season, the Vanderbilt bench has outscored its opponents, 216-120, and have only been outscored on two occasions in losses to Syracuse and Middle Tennessee. On average, the Commodore bench is averaging 24.0 points per game.
Commodore Rookies Rank Among SEC’s Best
Vanderbilt freshmen Chelsie Hall and Autumn Newby are playing quite well and rank among the best freshmen in the SEC. Hall’s averaging 13.0 points per game and is the second-best scoring freshman trailing A&M’s Chennedy Carter who is averaging 19.0 points per game. Hall’s also one of seven freshman averaging double figures. Newby is ranked third among SEC freshman in rebounding with 7.9 rebounds per game.