Dores hope to advance past top-seeded Spartans

The Vanderbilt Commodore women's basketball team faces a mammoth task Sunday when it tangles with top-seeded Michigan State in the semifinals of the NCAA Kansas City Regional. Here are notes and statistical comparisons. <p><B><i> Vanderbilt vs. Michigan State<BR> Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo.<BR> Tipoff: 6:30 pm CT<BR> TV: ESPN2<BR>

2005 NCAA Tournament Kansas City Regional

(No. 5 Seed) Vanderbilt


(No. 1 Seed) Michigan State

Time: Approximately 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Location: Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri

Key Players

Vanderbilt Commodores (24-7, 10-4 SEC)

10 Dee Davis G So. 5-7 13.5 5.9apg
20 Abi Ramsey G Sr. 5-10 11.2 2.8
32 Ashley Earley F Sr. 5-10 18.5 9.5
33 Caroline Williams G So. 5-10 5.4 1.7
50 Carla Thomas F So. 6-3 15.7 6.5

Michigan State Spartans (30-3, 14-2 Big Ten)

4 Kristin Haynie G Sr. 5-8 10.5 5.2apg
20 Lindsay Bowen G Jr. 5-7 13.8 2.4
31 Victoria Lucas-Perry G So. 5-9 7.5 4.5
42 Kelli Roehrig C Sr. 6-4 13.5 7.4
52 Liz Shimek F Jr. 6-1 14.9 9.0

Statistical Comparison

CategoryVanderbilt Michigan State
Points Per Game 77.9 71.1
Opp. PPG 59.1 56.7
Scoring Margin +18.8 +14.4
Field Goal% .493 .443
Opp. FG% .410 .371
3-Point Field Goal% .391 .350
Opp. 3-Point FG% .316 .307
Free Throw% .745 .729
Rebounds Per Game 35.0 41.5
Rebounding Margin +4.0 +8.3
Assists Per Game 17.0 16.2
Turnovers Per Game 15.3 14.3
Opp. Turnovers P/G 20.5 16.9
Blocks Per Game 2.2 3.8
Steals Per Game 10.2 10.4


No. 1 seed Michigan State brings a 14-game winning streak into the Sweet Sixteen after defeating Alcorn State and USC in the First and Second rounds of the tournament. The Spartans finished the regular season ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the ESPN/ WBCA Coaches Poll. The Big Ten Tournament champions finished the regular season 14-2 in conference play and bring a 30-3 overall record into the round of 16. Liz Shimek leads the team averaging 14.9 points and 9.0 rebounds. Michigan State also has three other starters averaging in double figures in Lindsay Bowen (13.8 ppg), Kelli Roehrig (13.5 ppg) and Kristin Haynie (10.5 ppg).

In five postseason games starting with the Big Ten Tournament, the Spartans are averaging 66.6 ppg while yielding 55 ppg. Shimek has led the team in the NCAA Tournament averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds in two games.


Vanderbilt and Michigan State have met twice on the basketball court with the series tied, 1-1. The Commodores won the last meeting during the 1997-98 season, 63-51, in Nashville, Tenn. The Spartans won the first meeting in Lansing, Mich., during the 1996-97 season, 82-51.


No. 5 seed (#18 AP Poll/#18 ESPN Coaches Poll) Vanderbilt (24-7, 10-4 SEC) makes its second consecutive trip to the Sweet Sixteen when the Commodores head to Kansas City to take on No. 1 seed Michigan State (30-3) in the Regional semifinal. The Commodores (24-7) picked up wins in the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament by knocking off No. 12 seed Montana and No. 4 seed Kansas State. Against Montana, Ashley Earley scored a game-high 21 points and Abi Ramsey finished with 13 pointers including three 3-pointers while the Commodore defense forced 17 turnovers as VU cruised to a 67-44 over the Lady Grizzlies in first round action. The Commodores committed a season-low five turnovers in the win. Against Kansas State in second round, Vandy overcame an early eight-point deficit then held off a fierce Kansas State rally as the Commodores knocked off the Wildcats, 63-60, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Sophomore forward Carla Thomas scored a team-high 18 points while Earley finished with 17 points and Dee Davis added 13 points. Abi Ramsey hit two three-pointers in the game giving her 85 made treys on the season which is a new Vanderbilt single season record. The Commodores join Michigan State, defending national champion UConn and Stanford in the Regional Semifinals in Kansas City. Earley averaged 19 points and 7.5 rebounds in two tournament games while Carla Thomas is averaging 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. As a team, the Commodores are allowing 52 points per game while averaging 65 points on offense. Vanderbilt has won 11 of its last 13 games with the only two losses coming to Tennessee, 72-63, in Knoxville, Tenn. and, 76-73, in the semifinals at the SEC Tournament in Greenville, S.C. The Commodores upset No. 4 seed Kansas State to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. In Vandy's last 13 games, VU is shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from three-point range. Earley has averaged 18.5 points and 10.6 rebounds during the stretch. In four postseason games, VU is shooting 45.5 percent and 48.3 percent from 3-point range. Earley leads the team in scoring 19.0 points and grabbing 9.0 rebounds. Ramsey (11.8 ppg), Davis (11.5 ppg) and Thomas (11.5 ppg and 7.8 rbg) are the other players leading the postseason charged for the Commodores.

Michigan State center Kelli Roehrig, right, watches teammates go through drills during the team's practice for their NCAA women's basketball first round game in Minneapolis, Friday, March 18, 2005. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) Top Stories