VU Women win Holiday Classic

NASHVILLE-- On Thursday afternoon Vanderbilt defeated the Indiana State Sycamores 89-75 in the championship game of the Vanderbilt Holiday Classic. Five Commodores scored in double figures, led by Carla Thomas with 22 points. Tina Wirth added 18, and Caroline Williams, Liz Sherwood, and Lauren Lueders each scored 12.

The first half of the game was an offensive explosion by both teams. Vanderbilt shot 51% from the field, but ISU shot even better at 56%. Neither team led by double-digts in the entire first half. The Sycamore's biggest lead was seven points at 30-23 midway through the half, but a 7-0 Vanderbilt run tied the score. The 'Dores then took the lead, and by the end of the half, their lead had grown to six points at 51-45.

Through the first part of the second half, the teams traded baskets. Then, finally, Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb found a defense that was effective. After shooting 56% in the first half, ISU shot only 34% in the second half, with six of their shots blocked by the 'Dores.

"We tried three defenses, and the only one that worked was switching man, where we just switched on the ball screens and let our posts take care of those guards," she said after the game. "That's why you saw all the blocked shots."

After the 'Dores began to get some defensive stops, their lead grew, reaching double digits midway through the second half. With five minutes left, the Vanderbilt lead had grown to 17 points at 80-63.

The 'Dores took their biggest lead of the night at 89-70 when Jessica Mooney found Ashlee Bridge under the basket for a layup. Five points from ISU in the last minute of the game resulted in the final score of 89-75.

After the game, Carla Thomas was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and Tina Wirth and Dee Davis were named to the All-Tourney team.

After a four-day holiday break, the team returns to campus to begin practice for the final non-conference games and then the start of the SEC season. Next action will be on December 30, when the 'Dores host Princeton at 2:00 p.m., followed by a game on New Year's Day, when they host LaSalle at 2 p.m.

Parker Norman and Ashley Bridge

Tina Wirth


Lauren Lueders

Dee Davis and Merideth Marsh

Liz Sherwood

Carla Thomas


Director of Sports Operation Lori Alexander and Tina Wirth

Lori and Dee Davis

Lori and Carla

The Team
(Click on photo to see a larger image.)

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Photos copyright 2006 by Whitney D for

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