Vanderbilt women rally past Florida, 82-69

NASHVILLE-- Tina Wirth scored 20 as Vanderbilt rallied from a 33-28 halftime deficit to defeat the Florida Gators, 82-69. Over 8,000 fans attended the game as part of a "Jam the Gym" promotion by Vanderbilt student athletics.

Florida, led by Depree Bowden who scored 28, jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and led virtually the entire first half.

In the second half Vanderbilt took its first lead since early in the game at 41-40 on a free throw by Caroline Williams. The Commodores would never relinquish the lead again and led by as many as 15 late in the game.

After the game, a happy Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb reflected on Wirth's stellar performance and future role, "She has been playing really well and she has earned the start. She has been playing with the starters in practice the past couple of weeks. And we need her to start. We need to have a sophomore out on the floor with her experience because we need to start games batter than we have been to this point," said Balcomb.

The coach also expressed an appreciation to the fans that attended the game, "The crowd tonight was outstanding. When we made some plays in the second half we were really able to get the crowd into the game and I think that helped to give us a big lift. When we jam the gym like we did tonight, it is a lot of fun to play."

The win improved Vandy's record to 16-2 (3-1 SEC). Vanderbilt will next travel to Georgia on Thursday. Florida falls to 6-12 (0-3 SEC) and hosts Auburn on Thursday.

Vanderbilt's Liz Sherwood, center, loses the ball while pressured by Florida's Sha Brooks, right, Kim Dye, background, and Sharielle Smith (24) during the first half of a college basketball game in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/John Russell) Top Stories