Three Thoughts: Vanderbilt still winless in SEC play after loss to Mizzou

The Vanderbilt Womens Basketball Team plays Missouri in Memorial Gym on Thursday, January 11, 2018. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

The Vanderbilt Commodores fell to No. 12 Missouri Tigers 81-70, dropping their SEC record to 0-4. It’s just the second time since the 1988-89 season that Vanderbilt has started SEC play 0-4 or worse.

Here are three thoughts from the latest Vanderblit defeat:

Saved by the Bell

Rachel Bell, who recently celebrated her 1,000th career point, once again had a solid game. The senior Bell supported the team with nine points in just 16 minutes of time on the floor. Cierra Walker made a solid contribution on both sides of the court, leading the team with 17 points and adding three assists and a steal. Walker was hot from long-range, going four for five on the night.

She hit a corner three-pointer and-one play in the first half that snapped the Commodores’ cold streak in the first quarter. She also hit a three-point shot in the final minutes of the game.

Shooters Gotta Shoot

In basketball, you need to make your shots if you want to have any shot at winning.

Vanderbilt did not do this well on Thursday.

Chelsie Hall and Erin Whalen went 0 for 3 from the field in the first quarter, and Kayla Overbeck missed an open layup to finish the second half. Even in the paint, the Commodores struggled as Missouri pulled ahead in the second half.  The Commodores did well shooting from the perimeter in their thriller against Tennessee, but they were not able to create the same opportunities for themselves against Mizzou because of frequent turnovers, including four in the first half.

Head Coach Stephanie White said that Vanderbilt failed to capitalize on some of the momentum that built up on certain runs and that the team “kept looking too far ahead in the future” when it came to creating plays on offense.

Anchor Down, but D-Up

Missouri is highly-ranked, but Vanderbilt could have still done a better job limiting their scoring chances.

Vanderbilt allowed 25 points in the first quarter, 22 in the second, and 24 in the third, and just nine points in the final quarter. Granted, Mizzou pulled many of their starters in the final frame. Nevertheless, Vanderbilt’s defense incrementally improved over the course of the game and showed some promise for future games with rebounding. They grabbed a total of 30 rebounds throughout the game, including 10 offensive boards.

Vanderbilt has another opportunity to earn their first SEC win of the season on Monday when they take on Kentucky at 6:00 PM central time.

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