The Women’s Bouncy Ball team went to the dreaded Memorial Gym in Nashville, and came away with a wire-to-wire win.
The Ags turned it over on the first possession, and the Dores scored first. But by the time they scored again at the 4:43 mark of the first quarter, it was 8-4 A&M. Chennedy Carter followed the second Vandy bucket with a 3 pointer. A late run by the home team made it 17-14 at the first break, with both Khaalia Hillsman and Anriel Howard on the bench with 2 fouls.
This is where the Ags tend to go cold and let the other team back in. But instead, the 2nd quarter opened with consecutive turnovers by Vanderbilt leading to layups by Carter and Danni Williams. The bench helped stretch the lead as a pair of FTs by Lulu McKinney made it Ags +9 with 5:24 to go in the half. A 3 point play by Kayla Wells made it +12. Danni Williams drained a pair of 3 pointers after a Kayla Overbeck layup and it was a 16 point lead with 3:07 remaining in the half. The lead would not get closer than single digits after that even with Carter spending some time on the bench with her own 2 first half fouls.
The foul trouble gave an unusual box score at halftime: Carter led the team with 17. Danni had 10. Kayla Wells 5 points off the bench were more than each of the other starters. Overbeck’s 12 first half points meant that Vandy outscored A&M in the paint 28-22.
A&M made adjustments in the second half to shut down the Vandy post game with a guard dropping down to harass Overbeck when she tried to spin in the paint. The Ags outscored the Commodores 32-19 in the 3rd before letting off the gas in the 4th.
- Chennedy Carter was back to her old self with 28 points. She added 5 assists vs just 2 turnovers. And it seemed like the Ags played man D most of the game and Carter did pretty well and had 3 steals.
- 3 other starters ended up in double figures. Danni ended up with 18 points. Khaalia and Anriel got going in the second half to score 16 and 12. Anriel missed the double double by 2 boards, partly because Jasmine Lumpkin was rebounding fiercely on Sunday and ended up with a career-high 13. Anriel only playing 24 minutes also contributed to her lower than usual totals.
- It was nice to see 3 players off the bench get double digit minutes: Kayla Wells finished with 7 points in 17 minutes. Caylinne Martin played 13 minutes and had 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot, and 1 steal. Lulu McKinney played 10 minutes and contributed 2 points, 3 assists, and a steal.
- A&M had a 43-24 rebounding edge. Vandy turned it over 20 times
- Vandy was led by Chelsea Hall’s 16. Overbeck and Christa Reed also were in double figures. Rachel Bell, who was missing from their last game, did play, but only 5 minutes and didn’t score.
- Tennessee Lady Vols
- Thursday Feb 1, 2018 at 5:30PM CST
- Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
- TV: SEC Network Radio: 1150AM/102.7FM
When the Ags and Lady Vols left the court after the first meeting where A&M won in OT at Reed, Khaalia Hillsman and Mercedes Russell said “See you in Knoxville”. Tennessee had arrived at Reed unbeaten, but on the verge of a brutal stretch in their schedule. Most Vol fans thought they wouldn’t be unbeaten by the time we meet on Thursday, but they thought the game at Reed was a likely win with potential losses vs S. Carolina, Notre Dame, and Miss State. Instead, they lost to us, beat S. Carolina (A’ja Wilson was out with an injury) and lost at Notre Dame and at home to Miss State. The Notre Dame loss was especially painful - the Vols led by 23 in the first half and by 10 going into the 4th quarter. They ended up losing by 14. Coming back, to face the Bulldogs, they may have still been shell-shocked. The Lady Bulldogs took the lead in the first quarter and never were challenged en route to a 19 point drubbing.
Games vs Ole Miss and LSU were supposed to provide relief before the Ags arrived in Knoxville. But Tennessee had to switch to a zone in the second half to take care of the Ole Miss whatever they’re calling themselves these days - Lady Sharks? Then, before the A&M game tipped off, Tennessee went into Baton Rouge and got outrebounded 44-32 and lost by 11.
I’m not a fan of being next up when a really talented team is coming off an upset. The revenge factor for the loss at Reed was already there, but the LSU loss will provide extra motivation, if the Lady Vols needed any. A&M is playing well enough to overcome that, but I can easily envision just about any possible result ranging from a big win by either team to another close game.