Women's Hoops: Dores rally past Georgia, 66-59

On Sunday afternoon, the Vanderbilt Commodores traveled to Athens, Georgia, for their final game of the regular season.

Although the game was simply a regularly scheduled conference game, it also served as a homecoming game for sophomore guard Caroline Williams.

Caroline's hometown or Rockmart is only about two hours away from Athens. All of her aunts, uncles and cousins from her mother's side of the family came to the game.

And all of her aunts, uncles, and cousins from her father's side of the family came, too. In all, over 80 friends and family members made the trip down from Rockmart for the game.

Like many SEC schools, Georgia features a darkened gym with spotlights for player introductions. But Stegeman Coliseum also has a unique feature: A disco ball hanging from the ceiling. When the lights go out, the ball turns and reflections from the spotlights and blinking red lights in fans' shakers sparkle around the gym.

The Vandy players huddle in the background before tipoff while the Georgia mascots pump up the crowd.


The first half was a tight defensive struggle. Ashley Earley was one of three Commodores with six points in the first half.

Caroline knocked down a three to give the Commodores an 18-16 lead with five minutes left in the first half. When the teams headed to the locker room at intermission, Vandy held a 25-20 lead.

Early in the second half, Vanderbilt extended the lead to nine points at 31-22. But Georgia came back. This run-out layup from Dee Davis briefly kept the Dawgs at bay.

But Georgia took the lead, then stretched it out to 51-42 with 4:18 left in the game. At the last second a buzzer beater from Ashley Earley sent the game into overtime.

Tip-off . . . . again!

The Commodores jumped out to a five point lead to start the OT period. In the end, it cames down to foul shooting. Sophomore forward Carla Thomas made three free throws in overtime, as well as three defensive rebounds, a blocked shot, and an assist to help Vanderbilt claim the 66-59 victory.

Afterwards, Caroline and the rest of the team had a few minutes to meet and greet friends and family before heading back to Nashville.

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Photographs copyright 2005 by WhitneyD for Vandymania.com.

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