NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After playing three games last week, Vanderbilt women’s basketball will hit the road for just one contest this week as it prepares for fall semester final exams.
Vanderbilt (6-5) travels to play Louisiana Tech (6-2) on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT (ESPN+) in Ruston, Louisiana.
The Dores will be trying to snap a two-game losing streak and LA Tech’s 18-game regular-season winning streak against nonconference opponents.
The matchup features teams that thrive on defense. Vandy has forced 17.9 turnovers per game and grabbed 8.9 steals per game while LA Tech has forced 17.3 turnovers per game and 7.4 steals per game. LA Tech ranks in the top 30 in the nation in scoring defense (54.4 points per game), and has limited opponents to 34.9 percent shooting, which ranks 33rd in the NCAA.
Vandy has played the last three games without graduate guard and leading scorer Ciaja Harbison (18.5 points), meaning the Dores were down to just eight healthy players following season-ending injuries to Jordyn Cambridge, Iyana Moore and Kaylon Smith before the season started.
The Dores have averaged 53 points per outing in Harbison’s absence.
Marnelle Garraud is averaging 12.1 points per game for Vandy. The graduate guard is coming off a season-high performance against UT Martin, when she scored 19 points and dished out five assists. Sophomore forward Sacha Washington leads Vandy in rebounding at 6.8 per game.
Vandy and LA Tech are meeting for the third time overall, but the first time in the regular season. They have split the prior games, with Vanderbilt winning the first meeting in the 1992-93 NCAA Regional Finals in Texas and LA Tech beating Vandy in an NCAA first-round game in 1999-00 in Ruston.
The Techsters, who returned all five starters from last year’s 21-12 team that reached the WNIT, are 6-2 for the third straight season. Vandy will be the first Power Five opponent they have faced this season. LA Tech’s two losses have come against SMU (63-59) and Illinois State (70-53).
Fifth-year senior guard Keuinna Walker, a returning first-team all-Conference USA selection, is leading LA Tech in scoring at 14.9 points per game. Junior forward Anna Larr Roberson is averaging 12.5 points and a team-leading 8.0 rebounds.
LA Tech was picked to finish second in the Conference USA preseason coaches’ poll behind Middle Tennessee.
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.