Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb doesn't officially award a game ball in her post-game press conferences, but if she did, on Thursday night it would have gone to sophomore guard Kady Schrann.
After Tiffany Clarke scored Vanderbilt's first six points of the game, she picked up her second foul and spent the rest of the half on the bench. A few minutes later, Jasmine Lister also picked up her second foul and joined her on the bench.
With the team's best point guard and best post player on the bench, Schrann provided an example of the rest of the team.
"Everything we talked about doing, she did, and it was successful," Balcomb said. "If we didn’t do it, we weren’t successful. They’re trying to take your strengths away. They’re running at you, trying to take away your 3, and they're doubling in the post, trying to take away that, so you have to counter it, you have to do something differently, and Kady was willing to do that and do everything we asked with the effort level she always brings."
That "something different" was putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket. "She had a great game tonight because she did what we asked to do," said Balcomb. "That was shot fake, ball fake when athletes run at you and put the ball on the floor and that’s what she did."
Given that Clarke and Lister were on the bench for most of the first half, Balcomb was pleased that the Dores took a 5-point lead into halftime at 23-18, led by Schrann's seven points.
In the second half, Christina Foggie, who had scored only two points in the first half, came to life to score 17 second-half points.
"She did a lot of it going to the basket," Balcomb said. "When you’re shooting 3s and they’re running at you and you’re still trying to shoot them and getting them blocked, at some point you’ve got to make a change and so I took her out right away after that last block and said, you can't just keep trying to shoot over them. Shot fake, put the ball on the floor and attack."
With Clarke and Lister back in the game and Foggie on track, the second half went a lot better for Vanderbilt than the first half had gone.
In the first half, the Dores shot only 35% from the field compared to 53% in the second half. Twelve first half turnovers were reduced to just seven in the second half. By midway through the second half, Vanderbilt took at 24-point lead, but in the first half, the Dores never led by double digits. A rebounding margin of two in the first half ballooned to an 11-point margin in the second half.
Next the Dores take to the road for a Sunday afternoon game against the Dayton Flyers in Dayton, Ohio, the first trip out of Nashville for the Dores this season.
The Flyers are 3-0 on the season, including a 92-80 win over #25 DePaul earlier this week in the Maggie Dixon classic. The Dayton squad features five players who with a shooting percentage of at least .400 from 3-point range.
"[UAB] was the most athletic team that we’ve played and probably the best team to this point; they won 19 games last year," said Balcomb. "Now we’re going to go on the road and play a Dayton team that is very very good, very smart, can all shoot the three. There are five people on the floor that can score at one time. They’re very well coached, and I know they’ll be ready to play us and expose any mistakes that we make on the road."
Gametime in Dayton is 1 p.m. Central Time. The game can be heard on the radio at 560 WNSR am and will be streamed via the internet from the Dayton University website (daytonflyers.com).
* * * * *
* * * * *
Photos copyright 2012 by Whitney D. for Vandymania.com