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January 25, 2013While the effort was there, the Commodores failed to pull off the upset against 9th ranked Lady Vols. Tennessee won the game by a final score of 83-75. Here's our breakdown of the game.
First Half SummaryThe game started with Tennessee making a statement against a confused Vanderbilt defense. The Commodores gave up multiple open drives through the lane, and got out of sync on offensive. Vanderbilt finally started to get some half court offensive production, but they could not find a way to stop the Lady Vols on defense or on the offensive boards.
The immediate size advantage in the paint really hurt the Commodores on both sides of the ball, and was a crucial factor to how the first half progressed. Another big factor was the Commodores playing to UTís speed of the game instead of their own. The lack of transition points in the first half, that Vanderbilt does so well on, affected their style of play and gave a big advantage to the Lady Vols.
When all was said and done, VU trailed by 12 at the half, 41-29.
Second Half SummaryThe start of the second half was a complete flip flop of what happened in the first half.
Vanderbilt hit shots from both inside the paint and outside on the three point line. On defense, they simply came out and just played with more intensity than Tennessee did. However, Tennessee did not stay down for long. They took advantage of some bad defensive rotations on Vanderbiltís part, and made them pay in the paint.
The Commodores started to get their transition offense working and played with a lot of effort on both sides of the ball. The 50-50 balls that the Lady Vols were winning in the first half, the Commodores were winning in the second. VU also did a very good job on the offensive boards, keeping plays alive when needed.
Turning PointThe turning point in the game was really the lack of defense by the Commodores in both the half and full court settings. Vanderbilt played with a good effort on defense, but simply had some mental lapses in transition defense and poor help side man defense.
Final analysisIn almost every aspect of the game, Vanderbilt played well enough to win. While they didnít play as well on offense in the first half, they played extremely well in the second half. They fixed their rebounding problems, scored in transition, and played with a very good effort on offense and defense.
The unfortunate truth is that the poor shifting on defense led to too many uncontested points in the paint, and that ultimately led to the Commodores loss.