Vanderbilt overpowers Reebok Lady Stars 87-54

Four Commodores scored in double figures as Vanderbilt defeated the Reebok Lady Stars 87-54 in a Sunday afternoon exhibition game at Memorial Gym.

Chantelle Anderson notched her second double double in exhibition play with 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead Vanderbilt in both categories. Sophomore guard Tia Battle added 12 points, 10 of them on fast breaks, and freshman post Nicole Jules and junior guard Hillary Hager each scored 11.

In the very early going, Vanderbilt's offense sizzled. Hillary Hager sank a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the game, then junior forward Jenni Benningfield aggressively attacked the basket, scoring seven straight points for Vandy in the first three minutes of the game.

But the Commodores couldn't maintain the torrid pace. With a little over 13 minutes left in the first half, senior point guard Ashley McElhiney picked up two fouls in quick succession and spent the rest of the first half on the bench. Freshman Erica Grimaldi took over the point guard duties with the score 15-10.

Reebok cut the lead to 3 points on several occasions, but Vanderbilt held on to the lead through the first half, thanks largely to 13 first half points from Anderson and a couple of timely 3-pointers from Abi Ramsey and Grimaldi. When the teams headed to the lockerroom at halftime, the Commodores held a 7-point lead at 35-28.

The second half began just like the first with a quick 3-pointer from Hillary Hager to give the Dores their first double-digit lead at 38-28. Tia Battle quickly followed with a steal and a fast break. But Reebok kept hanging around, cutting the lead back to five at 44-39 with 15:35 remaining. But that would be as close as they'd get for the rest of the game.

Midway through the half, it was clear that the Stars, who were playing short-handed because two players decided at the last minute not to make the trip to Nashville, were running out of gas. Vanderbilt's lead grew to 15 on a layup by Nicole Jules with 12:24 remaining and just kept on growing until it reached 33 points at the end of the game on another layup by Jules. When the dust settled, Vandy claimed a 87-54 victory.

The Commodores were led in scoring by Chantelle Anderson with 19 points, followed by Tia Battle with 12, and Hillary Hager and Nicole Jules with 11 each. Anderson was also leading rebounder with 14, followed by Hager and Ashley Earley with 6 each. Tia Battle had 5 steals, and Jenni Benningfield had 3. Anderson blocked 4 shots, and Ashley McElhiney and Erica Grimaldi each had 4 assists.

Jill Chapman, who just completed her rookie season with the Detroit Shock of the WNBA, led Reebok with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Former Purdue star Melina Griffina added 16.

For the game Vanderbilt shot 51.7% from the field (38.1% from 3-point range), compared to 34.0% (27.8% from 3-point range) for Reebok. Vanderbilt out-rebounded the Lady Stars 42-25. Turnovers were close, with the Commodores committing 19, while Reebok had 20.

This game completes Vanderbilt's exhibition season. The regular season begins November 23, when the Commodores travel to Boston University for a 1 p.m. CT matchup with the BU Terriers. Top Stories