Ramsey was one of four Commodores who scored in double figures for the
night. Sophomore guard Dee Davis led Vanderbilt with 13 points, followed by senior forward Ashley Early and sophomore forward Carla Thomas
with 12 points each, and Ramsey with 10. Rachel Stockdale led all scorers with 16 points, including four 3-pointers.
Entering the game Ramsey needed just two 3-point baskets to break the record. Her first 3-pointer of the night put the Commodores ahead 8-2 early in the first half. For most of the first half, Vanderbilt was able to hold that lead, leading by as much as eight points midway through the half.
But the tenacious Wolfpack kept battling and trimmed the lead to just a few points as the half progressed, and finally tied the game at 23-23 on a 3-pointer by Billie McDowell with 3:26 left in the half, then took at 26-23 lead when Ashley Key hit another one less than a minute later.
A jumper by Thomas cut the lead to one, and then Ramsey's record-breaking 3-pointer gave the Commodores a two-point lead at 28-26 with 1:43 left in the half. A pair of free throws by Thomas and a jumper by Kendra Bell ended the scoring at 30-28 for the half.
The Commodores got off to a strong start coming out of the locker room. Davis scored on a fast-break lay-up. Then, at the opposite end of the court, some in-her-shorts defense by Ramsey forced McDowell into a travel and sophomore guard Cherish Stringfield capitalized on the turnover. A pair of free throws from Thomas, then a pair from Earley pushed the lead out to ten points at 38-28. Ramsey grabbed the rebound of a miss by Cherish Stringfield and sank the short jumper to give Vanderbilt a 12-point lead at 40-28, its largest of the night.
But the Wolfpack refused to be steamrolled. A free throw by Key and consecutive 3-pointers by Monica Pope and Stockdale cut the lead back to five points at 40-35 with 12:58 remaining. A lay-up by Earley momentarily interrupted the run, but five NCSU 3-pointers over the next six minutes helped the Wolfpack stake a seven-point lead at 56-49 with 6:09 left.
But the Commodores weren't ready to play dead, either. Thomas sank the front end of a one-and-one. When she missed the second foul shot, Ramsey grabbed the offensive board, resulting in an old-fashioned 3-point play by Davis. The Memorial Gym crowd, which had been quieted as the Wolfpack took the lead, awakened. Earley got a steal, then Thomas found sophomore guard Caroline Williams in the corner; Williams sank the 3-pointer to tie the game at 56-56 with 5:33 left.
For a few minutes the teams traded free throws, and with 2:16 left, the Wolfpack led 61-58. With the shot clock down to three seconds, Davis hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 61-61 with 1:47 left. A lay-up Khadijah Whittington gave State a 61-63 lead with 1:27 left.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb called a 30-second timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Commodores missed the shot, but made a strong defensive stand on the other end, forcing a shot clock violation with 0:33 left. But a pass from Ramsey to Thomas was picked off.
At that point, Vanderbilt was forced to foul, and Stockdale made both of the resulting free throws to give State a 4-point lead with 0:06 left. Davis sank a 3-pointer with 0:01 left to cut the lead to 65-64. Vanderbilt fouled, and Bell missed both free throws, but it was too late for anything besides a desperation heave that fell short.
Vanderbilt shot 41.2% from the field, compared to 46.2% for the Wolfpack. From long range, Vanderbilt shot only 31.8% (7 for 22), while State shot 47.4% (9 for 19). NCSU also held an 34-32 edge on the boards and had fewer turnovers (17) compared to 19 for Vanderbilt.
It was the final non-conference game for the Commodores. Vanderbilt opens the SEC portion of the schedule Sunday at 2 p.m. vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Sunday is the annual fan appreciation day. Tickets cost just $1.00, and the festivities include pregame fun time for kids, mascot basketball at halftime, and an autograph session afterwards. In addition, the first 1,000 fans will receive lapel pins commemorating the 2004 SEC Tournament Championship. Activities for children begin at 1:15 p.m.
North Carolina State guard Rachel Stockdale (2) and Vanderbilt's Dee Davis, right, battle for the ball in the first half Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)