The St. Pete Times Forum is home ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of the 2004 Stanley Cup. Besides their NHL team, the forum also hosts a variety of events including concerts, an annual visit from the Harlem Globetrotters, and professional and college basketball games.
On Sunday afternoon, the Vanderbilt-South Florida women's game was the first game of a double-header. In the nightcap, a men's game featured the Florida Gators and the Florida A&M Rattlers.
From the inside, the St. Pete Times Forum resembles the GEC in Nashville. However, if you forgot where you were, one look out of the windows in the concourse would tell you that you aren't in Nashville anymore. If the "Tampa Bay Lightning" logo on the window and the palm trees didn't give you a clue, the cruise ship in the background would.
At Vanderbilt, starting lineups are introduced with the house lights on. On the road, the opponents' starters are often introduced with lights out, spotlights and fanfare. But on Sunday afternoon, the lights went out for the visitors' starting lineup, too.
The Lightning played a game on Saturday night. As soon as their game was over, the setup crew for basketball got to work, removing the glass panels around the rink, covering the ice with insulation, putting in the floor, and adding the additional seats for basketball events. They finished a couple of hours before game time. With the chill in the arena, especially on the court, it was easy to believe that there was ice beneath the floor.
Senior post Carla Thomas was 9 for 13 from the field for a total of 18 points with 9 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
Sophomore guard/forward Tina Wirth recorded the first double double of her Vanderbilt career with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Junior post Liz Sherwood led the 'Dores with 19 points and 13 rebounds in 19 minutes of play coming off the bench.
Former football 'Dores A.J. McGrew, Tavarus Hogans, and Lamont Turner were in the stands, helping to cheer the team to victory.
Photos copyright 2006 by WhitneyD for VandyMania.com.