Thomas Emerges From Slump For Vandy; Ely Next?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A story in the Tennesseean on Thursday trumpted the fact that 6-foot-3 Vanderbilt sophomore forward Carla Thomas, last year's MVP in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, had averaged just seven points in her last two games.

The article wondered if Thomas was having a delayed sophomore jinx.

You can guess the rest.

Thomas erupted for 23 points and 8 rebounds to help Vandy slaughter the Lady Razorbacks 78-43 in Memorial Gym.

"Carla came out mad at herself tonight," said Vandy coach Melanie Balcomb.

Next to take out her wrath on Arkansas will likely be Tennessee senior Shyra Ely on Sunday in Bud Walton Arena.

Ely, slumping recently, was removed from the UT starting lineup for Tennessee's 72-63 win over Vanderbilt on Sunday that stopped a four-game Vandy winning streak. Ely also was not scheduled to start against South Carolina on Thursday night.

Having played post her whole career, Ely was moved to small forward this season to make room for Tennessee's talented young post players.

But after shooting 2 of 11 and getting no rebounds in a 78-68 loss to No. 1 LSU last week, Ely asked UT coach Pat Summitt if she could move back to forward.

Look for Ely to have a coming-out party like Thomas' on Sunday.

ALLEN STRUGGLES
Arkansas forward Danielle Allen, who left Tuesday's practice early because she didn't feel well, struggled in the first half against Vanderbilt.

Allen had just two points and two rebounds in 11 first-half minutes, with no assists and two turnovers. She did manage two steals, but sat out much of the half with two fouls. Allen had trouble containing Vanderbilt forward Ashley Earley, who finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals.

The 6-foot Allen finished with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 turnovers and 3 steals...

Arkansas' guards shot poorly, as Kristin Peoples was 0 of 5, Sheree Thompson 0 of 4, Rochelle Vaughn 1 of 7 and April Seggebruch 0 of 6. Melissa Hobbs, who has played some at forward recently, was 0 of 4...

Dee Davis, Vanderbilt's sophomore point guard, already has 154 career assists.

She had three assists Thursday night, as did teammates Abi Ramsey, Thomas, Cherish Stringfield and Erica Grimaldi.

Thomas, Davis and Katie Antony also had five turnovers each for Vandy, which had a team total of 24 miscues to Arkansas' 16.

MR. NOVAK ON HAND
Eddie Novak, one of the three game officials Thursday night, is a dead ringer for NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon in appearance. Novak and crew called 18 fouls on Arkansas, 17 on Vanderbilt.

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