Dores Win Defensive Battle at Butler

Commodores collect a 51-39 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS – The Vanderbilt women’s basketball team had its best defensive performance of the season Thursday at Hinkle Fieldhouse, as the Commodores collected a gritty 51-39 victory over Butler.

The Commodores allowed a season-low 39 points against the Bulldogs. Vanderbilt collected 12 steals on the night, while Vandy forced Butler into 24 turnovers. Graduate student Jordyn Cambridge collected a game-high four steals in the win, while junior Sacha Washington added three steals.

Vanderbilt got a double-digit scoring performance from Cambridge and freshman Madison Greene. Cambridge tallied a team-high 12 points, while Greene came off to bench to score 10 points. Eight of Greene’s 10 points were scored during a 12-2 run late in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory for the Commodores. Additionally, six of the eight Vanderbilt players that played against Butler scored at least six points in the win.

With the victory, Vanderbilt improves to 9-1 on the year. The Commodores are off to their best start to a season since the 2016-17 campaign, in which Vanderbilt held a 10-1 overall record through 11 games.

It was a cold night shooting inside Hinkle for both teams. Vanderbilt shot 34.4% from the floor in the victory and held Butler to 31.8% from the field. The Commodores used their size advantage over the Bulldogs to post a 42-10 edge in points in the paint. Vandy pulled down a season-high 21 offensive rebounds that allowed the Commodores to outscore Butler 15-4 in second chance points.

Both teams turned up the defensive pressure in the opening quarter, as Vanderbilt trailed the Bulldogs 7-6 at the end of 10 minutes of play. Vanderbilt did not get its first bucket of the game until the 2:55 mark of the first quarter, when freshman Khamil Pierre tied the game at 2-2 with a putback layup.

The Commodores continued to play elite defense in the second stanza. Vanderbilt only allowed Butler to hit one field goal from the floor in the second quarter, as the Dores held the Bulldogs to just four points in the frame. After Butler opened the quarter with a pair of free throws, Vanderbilt went on a 14-2 run to close out the frame and take a 20-11 advantage going into the locker room.

Washington opened the third quarter with a layup to give the Commodores a 22-11 advantage. The two teams traded blows from that point, as Vanderbilt held a 31-21 lead going into the quarter media break. Butler was able to pull within four points after back-to-back Bulldog 3-pointers with 1:38 left in the frame made it a 33-29 lead for the Commodores. Cambridge sank a pair of free throws at the end of the third quarter and push the Vandy lead to 35-29 going into the fourth.

The Dores’ lead tightened in the opening stages of the fourth quarter, as Butler scored five-straight points to cut the Vanderbilt lead to 37-34 with 7:55 remaining. Cambridge was able to end Vandy’s drought with a layup at the 6:42 mark. However, Butler would drill a 3-point field goal on the ensuing possession to make it a 2-point game at 39-37 midway through the stanza. Freshman Madison Greene would push Vanderbilt’s lead back out to double-digits, as she scored eight points over three minutes in the fourth to spark a 12-2 run to end the game and give Vandy a 12-point victory.

Head Coach Shea Ralph on the Win
“Games like this tend to happen on the road, and this is why we hang our hat on our defense. No matter what, you can play defense when shots aren’t falling. I thought our team did a great job defensively, especially in that first half. They average nine 3-pointers a game and they only had one in the first half. We struggled a bit in the third quarter, which allowed them to get back into it, but we made the plays that we had to make to win the game. We also had some great contributions off the bench. Khamil Pierre helped us in that first half, and Maddie Greene came in and gave us the spark we needed.”

Up Next
Vanderbilt will now take 10 days off for finals. The next game for the Commodores is scheduled for Dec. 17 when Lipscomb makes the short trip over to Memorial Gymnasium. Tipoff against the Bison is set for 1 p.m. and will stream live on SEC Network+.

Dore Notes

  • Vanderbilt improves to 9-1 overall this season. It is the Commodores’ best start to a season since opening the 2016-17 campaign with a 10-1 record.
  • The Commodores are now 2-1 all-time against Butler and 1-0 in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
  • Vandy is now 2-1 this season in true road games.
  • Jordyn Cambridge extends her consecutive steals streak to 48-straight games with four steals against Butler.
  • Cambridge records double-digit points for the ninth time this season with a 12-point performance at Butler. It is her 41st career game with 10 or more points.
  • Freshman Madison Greene scored double-digit points for the second-straight game with a 10-point outing off the bench. It is Greene’s third game with 10 or more points this season.
  • Freshman Khamil Pierre and graduate student Jordyn Cambridge each pulled down a season-high five offensive rebounds.
  • A total of seven of the eight Vanderbilt players that played scored in the win.

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