Commodores fall to Memphis on the road

Dec. 28, 2016

Box Score

Hampered by foul trouble and uncharacteristic cold shooting, the Vanderbilt women suffered a 75-59 road loss to Memphis on Wednesday.

The Commodores (10-3), playing their final non-conference game before SEC play, shot just 35 percent from the floor, including going 4-of-13 (30 percent) from 3-point range. Vanderbilt came into the game shooting an SEC-best 41 percent from behind the arc.

Kayla Overbeck, Cierra Walker, Erin Whalen and Kaleigh Clemons-Green all fouled out for the Commodores, who trailed 43-27 at the half and were unable to cut the deficit under 10 points in the second half.

Cheyenne Creighton had 26 points and 13 rebounds, new career highs in both categories, for Memphis (7-6). Whalen finished with a team-high 14 points for Vanderbilt.

“I was disappointed in our effort and our focus today,” said Vanderbilt first-year head coach Stephanie White. “You have to play with purpose on both ends of the floor, and we didn’t do that.”

Memphis missed 20 free throws — finishing 14-of-34 — but made up for it with some surprisingly effective outside shooting, making 7-of-16 shots from 3-point range. The Tigers came into the game shooting just 26 percent from behind the arc for the season, and were averaging only 3.0 three-pointers per game.

Three Memphis players combined to score 55 of the Tigers’ 75 points. In addition to Creighton’s 26 points, Brea Elmore added 18 and Breigha Wilder-Cochran added 11.

The Commodores collected just six offensive rebounds, and five of those came in the fourth quarter.

Memphis put together an early 14-0 run to build a 16-4 lead with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Vanderbilt rallied to cut the deficit to 25-21 on a layup by Kayla Overbeck early in the second quarter, but Memphis outscored the Commodores 18-6 in the final 8:03 of the period to build a 43-27 lead at the half. Elmore’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer capped the impressive first-half performance by the Tigers.

Vanderbilt used a 10-3 surge to trim the margin to 47-37 on a layup by Rebekah Dahlman with 3:40 to play in the third quarter. But Memphis pushed the lead back to 14 at the end of the quarter, and never allowed Vanderbilt to get closer than 12 points in the final 10 minutes.

Vanderbilt now heads into SEC play, visiting Texas A&M on Jan. 2.