Vanderbilt Wins in Lexington, 72-62

LEXINGTON--Vanderbilt got back on the winning track Sunday afternoon in Lexington with a 72-62 over the Kentucky Wildcats. Tina Wirth led the team with 20 points, followed by Merideth Marsh with 15, Hannah Tuomi with 13, and Jessica Mooney with 10 points off the bench. Victoria Dunlap led Kentucky with 17 points.

Vanderbilt improved to 7-2 in the SEC (18-6 overall) with a 72-62 victory over Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. Four Dores scored in double figures, led by Tina Wirth with 20 points. Merideth Marsh added 15 points; Hannah Tuomi scored 13, and Jessica Mooney scored 10 points off the bench.

After struggling from the field in the loss to Mississippi State on Thursday night, the Dores shot a season-high 64.1% from the field, 50% from 3-point range, and 81.8% from the free throw line on Sunday afternoon.

Fouls were a problem for Kentucky as five Wildcats were whistled for two fouls each in the first half, starting with a foul by Amber Smith, only 10 seconds into the game.

With her defender in the air, Tina Wirth , who finished with 20 points, went around.her for the score.

Jessica Mooney provided a spark off the bench, scoring six straight points for the Dores after she entered the game in the first half.

Hannah Tuomi finished the game with 13 points as she shot 6-for-9 from the field.

The game was very physical, and both teams played hard for 40 minutes.

Just before halftime, Jessica scored on a fastbreak to give Vanderbilt a 31-24 halftime lead,. The seven-point lead was the largest lead of the first half by either team.

Jence Rhoads, who returned to the starting lineup on Sunday, scored on this driving layup early in the second half.

In the second half, Kentucky came back to tie the score, but never took the lead. With the score tied 46-46 with 9:17 to go in the game, Hannah put the Dores back on top.

The crowd of 6,051 made a lot of noise, whether it was cheering on their team or giving the officials their opinion of the calls.

After Kentucky had cut the Vanderbilt lead to six points at 60-54 with 1:39 left in the game, Tina scored on a run-out. The Vanderbilt staff thought that the Kentucky players were tiring and decided to force them to keep running to defend.

In the end, the game depended on Vanderbilt's ability to shoot free throws. Down the stretch, Vanderbilt shot 8-for-9 from the free throw line to seal the win.

At Kentucky, win or lose, the band always "My Old Kentucky Home" after the game.

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell at the post-game press conference.

The post-game press conference is always more fun after a win.

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Next, Vanderbilt returns home for the final home stand of the season. On Thursday night against the Florida Gators, who are currently tied with Auburn for first place in the SEC with identical 8-1 records.

Then on Sunday, Georgia visits Memorial Gym for the annual Pink Out to support breast cancer research and awareness. On Thursday February 19, the Dores host Auburn on Senior Night. Festivities honoring the careers of seniors Jen Risper, Tina Wirth, and Amy Malo will take place after the game.

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Photos copyright 2008 by Whitney D. for

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