Tiffany Clarke scored 25 points with 13 rebounds, and Jasmine Lister scored 13 points with 10 assists to lead Vanderbilt to a 76-57 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels Sunday afternoon in Oxford Mississippi. Kady Schrann added 15 points, and Christina Foggie scored 13. Diara Moore led Ole Miss with 15 points.
After Vanderbilt's 92-41 victory over Mississippi State in Memorial Gym on Thursday night in the team's SEC opener, Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said that it was the team's best game of the season. She pointed out, however, that it was just a start and that the team's next game better be the best game of the season.
The next game was played in Sunday afternoon in the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford Mississippi. While the game might not have lived up to the standard of the "best game of the season", the coach had to have been pleased with the way her team was ready to play in their first SEC road contest of the season.
In the first half, the scoring opportunities were on the perimeter, and Christina Foggie, Jasmine Lister, and Kady Schrann started the game shooting 6-for-9 from 3-point range to help Vanderbilt build a 21-point halftime lead at 40-19.
At halftime, the Rebels made some adjustments. Acting Head Coach Brett Frank urged them to "play Ole Miss basketball", and his team responded. In the second half, the Rebels decided to clamp down on the 3-point barrage, and Vanderbilt countered by going again and again to Tiffany Clarke in the paint. Clarke, who finished the game with 25 points, scored 17 of those points in the second half.
Early in the second half, Vanderbilt held their biggest lead of the game at 26 points, but couldn't pull further away. Several mini-runs by Ole Miss cut the lead down to 19 points, but the Dores were able to stop the mini-runs from becoming mega-runs. In the end, the 19-point final margin at 76-57 was as close as the Rebels could get in the second half.
For the second straight game, Vanderbilt shot over 50% from the field, 55.6% in the first half and 53.6% in the second half. The Dores shot 40% from 3-point range for the game, and 76.9% from the free throw line. They also held a substantial edge on the boards, out-rebounded the Rebels 41-29. The only cloud on the box score was 20 turnovers.
Next action for the Dores is again on the road as they travel to Columbia to meet the #16 South Carolina Gamecocks on Thursday January 10. Gametime is 6 p.m.
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Tad Smith Coliseum
The team traveled to Oxford on the sleeper buses. The trip to Nashville is less than five hours, so the players had plenty of time to get ready for the start of spring semester classes tomorrow after returning to Nashville. But the berths in the sleeper bus gives them a chance to rest or even take a nap in comfort on the last day of the inter-semester break.
For years, the Ole Miss's only mascot was the unofficial Ole Gentleman, who could be seen in the stands if not on the court. In recent years, Ole Miss has added a more conventional mascot.
Speaking of "unconventional", the word is a perfect description of the Rebels' tip-off strategy. Clarke jumped center for the Dores, as usual, but instead of one of the team's tall players, 5-4 Valencia McFarland faced Clarke in the tipoff circle while her teammates set up defensively.
The strategy paid off as the Dores didn't score on their first possession. But on their second possession, Foggie knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Dores a 3-0 lead.
Foggie's 3-pointer gave fans who were playing Basketball Bingo the chance to check off one item less than one minute into the game. The number 10 under "Player makes 3-pointer" is actually the code that allows staff to check the completed Bingo cards, but in this case, it was also prophetic.
Kady Schrann was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field for the game, including 1-for-1 from 3-point range and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
Lister knocked down three 3-pointers in the game on five attempts on the way to scoring 15 points.
After Rene Ladner retired last spring, Ole Miss hired Adrian Wiggins, the former head coach at Fresno State. Then, in the middle of October, Wiggins and two of his assistants were fired after the discovery of impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct by the two assistants. The remaining assistant, Brett Frank, was promoted to acting head coach.
Photos copyright 2012 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com