Vandy trailed the Lady Bulldogs of Jackson, Tenn., until 8:40 in the first half when redshirt freshman center Stephanie Holzer hit two from the charity stripe to put Vandy ahead 15-14. From that point on, Vandy never trailed, and led by as much as 37 points in the second half.
"I think we're definitely improving with each game," Elan said of the pre-season experience. "We have goals after every game and we work on them in practice, so I think we are improving and getting better as a team."
Christina, who in two exhibition games led team scoring for a total of 41 points, is a confident shooter who said she takes advantage of open screens from her teammates. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb joked as she walked into the interview room: "Does anyone want to ask me why we start two freshmen?" Christina was 9 of 14 from the field and hit 7 of 11 threes. She nailed 16 points in the first half.
Celebration over the victory was tempered, however, as senior point guard Jence Rhoads left injured at 15:25 in the second half, dropping to the floor with pain in her calf or knee. Coach Balcomb said Jence, the All SEC First Team pre-season pick by league coaches and media, is being assessed by doctors and the extent of the injury was unknown. Jence had 6 rebounds, 5 points and 9 assists when she left the game.
Vanderbilt opens the regular season Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Howard Bisons from Washington, D.C. Howard was picked to finish third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference by the conference coaches and sports information directors.