Dores Win SEC Opener on the Road

Vanderbilt collects a 71-66 win at Mississippi State in its SEC opener

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Vanderbilt women’s basketball team opened SEC play by collecting a 71-66 victory at Mississippi State on Thursday to improve to 14-1 on the year.

The Commodores got a season-best 29-point performance from junior Iyana Moore, as the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native shot a blistering 66.7% from the floor and hit a game-high three 3-pointers. For the second-straight game, every Vanderbilt player that played scored in the victory.

The Dores open SEC play with a road win for the first time since the 2008-09 season, when Vandy collected an 85-76 victory at Alabama back on Jan. 8, 2009. The victory also pushes Vanderbilt’s overall record to 14-1, which is the program’s best start since the 2006-07 campaign.

Vanderbilt shot 49.1% from the floor in the win, while the Commodores outrebounded the Bulldogs 35-28 on the night. The Dores went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw in the victory.

Vanderbilt set the tone early against the Bulldogs, as Vanderbilt opened the game on an 11-4 run. Moore scored seven points for the Dores during the spurt. Mississippi State answered with a 6-0 run of its own to pull within a point of the Commodores at 11-10. Vanderbilt was able to push its advantage back out to six points at 18-12 after a layup from junior Sacha Washington at the 2:04 mark. Vandy concluded the first quarter with a four-point lead at 18-14.

Mississippi State scored the first seven points of the second stanza to take a 21-18 lead over Vanderbilt. Sophomore Justine Pissott ended the MSU run, as she sank a 3-pointer from the wing to knot the game up at 21-all. Mississippi State responded with seven-consecutive points after the Pissott 3-pointer to force the Commodores to call a timeout trailing 28-21. Vanderbilt caught fire out of the timeout, as the Dores went out a 15-2 run to reclaim a six-point lead at 36-30 with under a minute left to play before the half. Moore once again played a big role during Vanderbilt’s second-quarter run, as she added seven more points to give her 14 first-half points. The Bulldogs made it a one-possession game going into the half, as Vanderbilt held a 36-33 lead.

Moore hit her first shot of the third quarter to give Vandy a 38-23 lead. Mississippi State answered with four-straight points to make it a one-point game at the 7:50 mark. The Dores pushed their lead back out to five points after Moore’s third 3-pointer of the game made it 44-39 with 6:31 left in the frame. Vanderbilt held the lead for the remainder of the stanza, as the Commodores took a 56-50 lead into the night’s final frame.

The Bulldogs pulled even with the Commodores to open the fourth quarter, as an 8-2 run by MSU tied the game up at 58-58 with 6:28 left in the contest. Pissott sank her third 3-point field goal of the night to give Vanderbilt a 61-58 advantage going into the game’s final media break. The Commodores would hold the lead for the remainder of the game to move to 1-0 in SEC play.

Head Coach Shea Ralph on the Result
“It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of our team and how happy I am for them to get this win. We have been through a lot together, not just this year, but since we’ve been here. I felt like today was a full team effort and we’re starting to see the culture that we are building. We want to compete for championships, and we have to do it going through SEC teams. We’ve grown a lot over the course of the year, but this is just the beginning.”

Up Next
The Commodores return to Memorial Gymnasium this Sunday for their SEC home opener against Florida. Tickets for the Florida game are just $1 and can be purchased by clicking the link here.

Dore Notes

  • Vanderbilt improves to 14-1 for the first time since the 2006-07 season
  • The Commodores snap a nine-game losing streak to Mississippi State and improve to 37-24 all-time against the Bulldogs
  • Vanderbilt collects its first win in Starkville since Feb. 5, 2012, when the Commodores collected a 65-59 win at Humphrey Coliseum
  • It is the fourth time that Vanderbilt has won 14 or more games during the first 15 contests of a season, it also occurred during the 1992-93 (15-0), the 1995-96 (14-1) and 2006-07 campaigns
  • It is the first time that the Commodores have won an SEC opener on the road since Jan. 8, 2009, at Alabama, when Vanderbilt picked up an 85-76 win over the Crimson Tide
  • Vanderbilt improves to 2-1 in SEC season openers under head coach Shea Ralph
  • The victory marks head coach Shea Ralph’s first SEC road win
  • Iyana Moore extends her double-digit scoring streak to three games with a 29-point outing at Mississippi State
  • It is Moore’s seventh double-figure scoring performance of the season and the 29th overall in her career, while it is her seventh career game with 20 or more points
  • Jordyn Cambridge became the second Vanderbilt women’s basketball player to collect 300 or more steals in their career with two steals to push her career total to 300
  • Justine Pissott hit three or more 3-pointers in a game for the fifth time this season, while it is the sixth time overall in collegiate career
  • It is the second-straight game that every Vanderbilt player that played scored in the contest

Follow Us
For more information and exclusive content on the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team, follow @VandyWBB on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter/X.