Commodores defeat Vermont Catamounts 75-54

Abi Ramsey provided the spark off the bench as the Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Vermont Catamounts 75-54 Saturday afternoon in Burlington, Vermont.

In all, four Commodores scored in double figures, but it was Ramsey's four straight 3-pointers in the second half that finally put the game out of the reach of the tenacious Catamounts.  In addition to Ramsey's 12 points, Chantelle Anderson led all scorers with 16 points, Zuzi Klimesova notched a double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Jillian Danker added 11 points.

The game was a see-saw battle for much of the first half. Vermont took an early 8-2 lead, but a 10-point run by Vanderbilt, including two 3-pointers from Jenni Benningfield, gave Vandy a 10-8 lead. The teams traded baskets until the score stood at 13-12 in favor of Vermont, when a basket by Chantelle Anderson kicked off a 10-0 Vanderbilt run, giving the Commodores a 22-13 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

Vermont then countered with a run of their own, and with 2:35 left in the first half, Vandy's lead had been trimmed to a single point at 26-25. But the Commodores finished the half on an 8-0 run, including 3-pointers by Jillian Danker and Ashley McElhiney, to take a 34-25 lead into the locker room.

For the first five minutes of the second half, the Vanderbilt lead vacillated between 7 to 12 points.  At the 14:21 mark, when the Commodores led 44-34, Coach Jim Foster sent freshman Abi Ramsey into the game for the first time, and she responded with four 3-pointers in the next six minutes, giving Vandy a 17-point lead at 58-41.

Vermont couldn't manage to cut the Commodore lead to under 15 points for the remainder of the game. Jenni Benningfield's third 3-pointer of the night gave the Dores their biggest lead of the afternoon at 70-45 with 4:15 remaining in the game. A 3-pointer by Morgan Brownlee and a couple of free throws by Lindsay Vine ended the scoring for the game at 75-54 in favor of the Commodores.

For the game, Vanderbilt shot 50.9% from the field while holding the Catamounts to only 34.5%. The Commodores sizzled from 3-point range, hitting a remarkable 12 of 17 attempts for a 70.6%. Vermont, on the other hand, attemped 29 long-range shots, but made only 8 (27.6%).  Vanderbilt dominated on the boards 39-25, but Vermont took better care of the ball with only 9 turnovers compared to 13 for the Commodores.

Next for the Commodores are a few well-deserved days off. After the break, they'll return to practice to prepare for a road trip to #12/#14 Texas Tech next Saturday in the second game of the Big 12-SEC challenge.  The game will be televised at 12:00 CT on College Sports Southeast.

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