Senior forward Ashley Earley led the Commodores with her second double double of the season, scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Senior guard Abi Ramsey added 13, including three 3-pointers, and sophomore post Carla Thomas added 11 points.
Vanderbilt led from the get-go. Thomas scored the first basket of the
game, and that two-point lead was the closest that the Lady Tigers would
get all night. After a basket by Caroline Moore put Savannah State on
the scoreboard at 4-2, the Commodores went on a 15-0 run, including two
3-pointers from Ramsey, to take a 17-2 lead halfway through the first
From there on, the Commodore lead continued to grow slowly, but
steadily. With two minutes left in the first half, it reached 20 points at
33-13, and just before a halftime, a fastbreak layup by Cherish Stringfield following a block by Thomas gave Vanderbilt a 35-13 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Commodores continued to pull further and
further away, stretching the lead to 30 points at 48-18 on a basket by Earley
halfway through the half. An 6-0 Vandy run featuring two put-backs by
sophomore post Jenn Hall and a fastbreak basket by sophomore guard Katie Antony gave the Commodores their biggest lead of the night at 61-26
with two minutes remaining. After that, Savannnah State managed two more
points on a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to make the final
The game was characterized by turnovers galore. On the bright side, the
aggressive Vanderbilt defense caused 30 turnovers. Unfortunately,
however, Commodores committed 25 turnovers themselves.
"This is a tough team to play," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb after the game. "Everything they're doing is unorthodox -- their
defense is unorthodox; they switch defenses all night. They trap, they
press, and they played really hard, and they made us go fast, and we just
didn't slow down and read things, and early on the season that's really
Despite the struggle with the Lady Tiger defense, Vanderbilt shot 45.5%
from the field while holding Savannah State to 25% shooting. The 28
points scored by the Lady Tigers was the lowest point total for a
Vanderbilt opponent since the 1977-78 season when the Commodores defeated the
University of the South 86-21.
Neither team shot well from long range, with Savannah State hitting
only 3 of 17 shots from 3-point range. The Commodores didn't do much
better with 3 of 15. Vanderbilt held a decisive rebounding edge with 40
boards compared to 22 for Savannah State.
Next action for the Commodores is the Vanderbilt Tournament to be held
on Friday and Saturday. Vanderbilt's first round opponent will be Rhode
Island, a team that Vanderbilt defeated 74-61 in the Gatorade Holiday
Classic in Miami last season. Gametime is 2 p.m. In the second game,
UT-Martin will play Siena. Consolation and championship games will be
played on Saturday.
VU women smother Savannah State, 61-28
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