SPECIAL NIGHT FOR COMMODORE SENIORS!
Vanderbilt Outlasts No. 7 LSU, 68-58
Feb. 22, 2007
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Carla Thomas scored 23 points and Vanderbilt beat No. 7 LSU 68-58 Thursday night for the Commodores' seventh straight victory and their first over a Top 10 team since March 2003.
With the win, Vanderbilt (24-4, 10-3) snapped a tie with LSU and moved into a tie with Georgia for second in the Southeastern Conference although Georgia holds the tiebreaker. The Commodores, who finish the regular season Sunday at No. 2 Tennessee, moved closer to a first-round bye in the league tournament next week.
"I think we're capable of a lot more than we showed tonight," Thomas said. "It's coming around at the right time. Senior night, it's coming together at the end of the year."
The Tigers (23-6, 9-4) now have lost three of their last four and missed a chance to help coach Pokey Chatman celebrate her 100th game with a victory.
"They were playing with a lot of emotion," Chatman said of the Commodores. "When it boiled down to it, they turned up their defense a notch and probably made us play a little bit quicker."
Senior Dee Davis had 17 points in the Commodores' final home game this season. Caroline Williams and Christina Wirth each had 12 as Vanderbilt shot 54.2 percent against the nation's stingiest scoring defense, which had held opponents to 49.1 points per game.
The Commodores came in as the SEC's top shooting team, hitting 50.6 percent from the floor.
"We told our team, as if they didn't already know, that Vanderbilt was an offensive powerhouse, and the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense," Chatman said. "They were better in all aspects in that regard tonight. We can break it down, but the bottom line is they were better tonight and therefore victorious."
LSU's Erica White tied a career high with 22 points. Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
But it was defense that Vandy coach Melanie Balcomb wanted her Commodores to focus on in the second half.
"We talked about making them work harder for their shots. We weren't being aggressive enough and backed off. We talked about playing to win the game," Balcomb said.
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