Fresh off their victory over No. 13/14 Oklahoma on Sunday, the Vanderbilt Commodores entered the national rankings for the first time in nearly a year with a #25 ranking in the AP poll and a #22 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. The week brought another "first" for the season: The first game away from the friendly confines of Memorial Gym.
The usual road trip routine on a week night is to leave Nashville on the previous day, spend the night in a hotel, have shoot-around in the morning, have a pre-game meal, then take the court in the evening.
However, since Austin Peay is located in Clarksville, less than an hour away from Nashville, the team left campus on Wednesday morning, had their shoot-around after arriving at Austin Peay, had a pre-game meal at a hotel, played the game, and returned home after the game.
What makes a road game different from a home game? From a fan's perspective, you see sights on the road that you don't see at home, like a radio-controlled blimp in the gym.
If a school is going to cheer "Let's Go Peay", they'd better have nice bathrooms in their gym, and APSU does.
Fans can see some videoboard graphics that they aren't likely to see in Memorial Gym.
Road games mean road uniforms. For the Dores, it was the first chance to wear their black unis.
On the road, sometimes the names can sound different. Even though media guides include correct pronunciation of players' names, a name that looks easy, like "Christina Foggie", is easy to miss, because it looks like "foggy" (as in "foggy morning"), but is actually pronounced like "fogey" (as in "old fogey"). After her 14 first half points, the PA announcer made a halftime adjustment and got it right in the second half, but she scored another 11 points anyway.
Apparently the Lady Govs' game plan included doubling up on Stephanie Holzer in the post, but she nonetheless managed to score 15 points with eight rebounds.
In the first road game of her collegiate career, freshman Kady Schrann scored 11 points.
Jordan Coleman scored 13 points, hitting seven of her eight free throw attempts. She also pulled down five rebounds.
Tiffany Clarke led the team with 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
Holzer's 15 points came on 6-for-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
After the game Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was pleased with the team's performance. "I liked our confidence; I liked our composure, and I liked how our defense is still creating our offense," she said. For the game, Vanderbilt forced 22 turnovers and converted them into 19 points.
Last week's SEC Player of the Week Jasmine Lister scored six points on two 3-pointers, along with 5 assists and only 2 turnovers.
In her first road trip, Maggie Morrison didn't score, but had three assists with no turnovers.
Next, Vanderbilt returns home for a two-game home stand. On Friday night, the Denver Pioneers, the pre-season pick to win the Western Division of the Sunbelt Conference, come of Memorial Gym. The game gives Vanderbilt the chance to avenge the 70-65 upset that ruined Hannah Tuomi's homecoming. Game time is 7 p.m.
* * * * *
Photos copyright 2011 by Whitney D for VandyMania.com