NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A late fourth-quarter run came up short as Vanderbilt suffered its first loss this season, falling 67-59 to Saint Joseph’s on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium.
Vandy (5-1) was trying to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 2011-12, when the Dores won their first 10 games. But St. Joe’s (4-0), playing its first road game on the season, used superior rebounding and just enough 3-pointers to remain undefeated.
The Dores shot just 2 of 13 (15 percent) from the 3-point line and were outrebounded 43-26. St. Joe’s, which hit 7 of 23 3-pointers, grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and scored 12 second-chance points.
Graduate guard Marnelle Garraud and freshman guard Ryanne Allen each scored 11 points to lead Vandy. Graduate guard Ciaja Harbison scored 10 points. Yaubryon Chambers grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
St. Joe’s had four players in double-figures in scoring, led by Katie Jekot with 17 and Laura Ziegler with 14.
Sporting their all-gold uniforms in front of a crowd of 1,717, Vanderbilt trailed 19-14 after the first quarter. Both teams endured scoring droughts of more than three minutes in the second quarter before St. Joe’s went on a 7-0 run capped by Julia Nystrom’s 3-pointer for an eight-point advantage.
The Dores made a late push to narrow the deficit to 32-30 by halftime. Allen hit a layup while falling down and Bella LaChance knocked down two free throws. Sacha Washington blocked a shot to prevent the Hawks from scoring in the waning seconds
St. Joe’s shot just 33 percent in the first half (10 for 30) but made four 3-pointers while Vandy was 0 for 5 from deep. The Hawks outrebounded Vandy 22-12 through the first 20 minutes, including 10 offensive rebounds.
The teams went back and forth in the third quarter, trading shots and exchanging leads. St. Joe’s carried a five-point advantage into the fourth, and expanded it to 10 points on a 3-pointer by Nystrom with 3:58 remaining.
Vandy made one last push, cutting the deficit to 58-55 with less than a minute to play after Demi Washington scored inside and Garraud hit a 3-pointer out of a timeout.
But Jekot answered for St. Joe’s and the Hawks held off Vandy down the stretch. The Dores led for only 39 seconds of the game. It was the first time this season they were held to less than 70 points.
Nashville-Philly Connections: St. Joe’s head coach Cindy Griffin was an assistant at Vanderbilt on Jim Foster’s staff from 1993-95. In her two years at Vandy, the Dores were 53-15, won the 1995 SEC championship and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 both seasons.
Foster recruited Griffin to St. Joe’s and coached her during her playing career on Hawk Hill. In her 22nd season leading her alma mater, Griffin notched her 400th career win last week.
Vanderbilt chief of staff Christina Foggie worked with the St. Joe’s program under Griffin as the team’s director of operations in 2018-19 after previously spending a season as the graduate assistant and video coordinator for the Hawks in 2015-16 while earning her master’s degree in organizational development and leadership.
Series History: The Hawks defeated Vanderbilt for the second time in five overall meetings. St. Joe’s previous victory came in the very first meeting between the programs in 1988-89. The Dores defeated St. Joe’s 64-45 last season in Philadelphia.
Up Next: Vanderbilt travels to Cancun, Mexico, to participate in the Women’s Cancun Challenge. The Dores open against No. 10 North Carolina State on Thursday at 3 p.m. CT (FloHoops).
Tickets: Students will continue to receive free admission to all home basketball games. In addition, single-game sales, mini-plans and group ticket options are available. To view the promotional schedule, click here.