When Stephanie Holzer is on the floor, the 6-foot-4 center is a powerful presence inside.
The problem for Vanderbilt is keeping her on the court.
In nine of 16 games she has played in this season, Holzer has committed at least three fouls and three times she has fouled out, including the Commodores' most recent loss – a 78-68 setback on Sunday to then-No. 19 Kentucky.
“I really have to work on that,” she said. “They are just silly fouls that I don’t need to do. There are some plays where I just have to learn to let go. But at the last second I usually just get so mad, I try to do too much, try to get the ball at the last second and I am not in position and I am committing a lot of dumb fouls. I have to get back to moving my feet and just doing things the right way.”
She’ll have a chance to improve in that area as Vanderbilt (13-7, 4-3 SEC) hosts Mississippi (9-10, 2-5), 2 p.m. Sunday.
Even with the foul trouble, Holzer is averaging 11.1 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds in just 17.3 minutes a game. She also has a team-high 29 blocks.
To put things in perspective, if Holzer played all 40 minutes she is projected to average 25.7 points, 14.9 rebounds and 4.2 blocks.
While those numbers are impressive, Vanderbilt would just like to see Holzer on the court longer because of the size she adds to a small lineup.
“The longer she is on the floor, the better we are because she is a game-changer. She is an impact player,” coach Melanie Balcomb said. “There is really nobody in this conference that has a lot of size other than Tennessee, LSU and Georgia. ... so she really helps us a big target inside on offense and a shot-blocker on defense.”
• Christina Foggie’s status remains day-to-day after she suffered a concussion – her second of the season – during practice on Tuesday. Balcomb said she didn’t know how long her freshman guard will be out or if she will return this season.
“I have no idea,” she said.
Foggie, a 5-foot-9 native of Mount Laurel, N.J., is averaging 10.6 points in 14 games.
“It has to be very frustrating for her,” Balcomb said. “Even when she comes back she has to get a lot of practice time under her belt. When you are a freshman that is hard not to practice. So she has played a lot of games and missed a lot of practice, which is usually not the way you want it percentage-wise.”
• All tickets to Sunday’s game cost just $1 as part of the school’s annual “Jam the Gym” promotion. After the game, a free mini-clinic and autograph session will be held on the court.