By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Tech head coach Kim Rosamond knows what it's like to play at Memorial Gymnasium at Vanderbilt. After all, she spent a few seasons on the coaching staff for the Commodores and taken the Golden Eagles there twice before.
This time around, however, things just feel different. The Tech women bring in one of its most experienced teams, so there's nothing more the Golden Eagles would like do than go into Nashville on Thursday and try to take a victory home.
Tipoff for Thursday's game is set for 6 p.m. Dylan Vazzano will have the call on 106.1 The Eagle, while the game will be televised nationally on SEC Network.
It's been a tough beginning to the Shea Ralph era in Nashville, but the former UConn player and assistant under Geno Auriemma is still just finding her footing. Her resume – with 12 Final Four appearances and six NCAA championships – speaks for itself, so it's just a matter of time before the Commodores settle in and get rolling.
Vanderbilt (1-2) opened the season with a 75-59 victory over Gardner-Webb, then dropped consecutive games to Little Rock (56-40) and Middle Tennessee (55-46). The Commodores had a cold streak early on, shooting 3-for-13 from the floor in the first quarter and finished 15-for-49 at the Murphy Center, including 2-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Jordyn Cambridge was the only double-digit scorer for Vanderbilt, chipping in 19 points and narrowly missing a double-double with nine boards. Both the Commodores and the Blue Raiders had over 20 turnovers in the contest, leading to 13 points for Vandy and 21 for Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders led by as many as 16 points with just under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter before Vanderbilt sliced away at the deficit to make it a nine-point game as the final buzzer sounded. Kseniya Malashka had 17 points and six rebounds, Courtney Whitson 15 points and six boards and Dor Saar had 12 points and seven caroms to lead Middle Tennessee, who the Golden Eagles will face Monday night in the Eblen Center.
Brinae Alexander leads Vanderbilt in scoring with a 12.0 per-game average, while Cambridge is averaging 9.7 points and 6.3 rebounds. Kaylon Smith is leading the Commodores in rebounding with a 6.7 average.
The Golden Eagles have a 10-9 record all-time against Vanderbilt, with Tech's last win coming on January 31, 1991, in the Eblen Center, a 73-66 victory. The Commodores have won the last four meetings, including a 75-61 victory on December 5, 2019 – the last time the two teams have faced off. Tech won the first seven games between the two teams from December 7, 1978, to January 20, 1983.
All-time against the Southeastern Conference, Tech is 41-84 with 11 victories over Tennessee and 10 wins over Vanderbilt.
The last time out for the Golden Eagles (2-0), five players scored in double-figures as Anna Jones led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds to pace Tech to an 85-58 victory over Chattanooga. Maaliya Owens (15), Megan Clark (11), Jada Guinn (11) and Kesha Brady (10) all had double-digit point totals. As a team, the Golden Eagles shot 58.9 percent from the field, and was able to work inside to score in the paint, collecting 46 points around the bucket.
As Tech enters its third game of the season, the Golden Eagles are averaging 85 points, 42 rebounds, 21.5 assists, 9.5 steals and 3.0 blocks as the team is shooting .496 from the field, .356 from the arc and .757 at the line.
Photo | Jim Dillon