NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt's women's basketball team opened its exhibition season with a resounding 73-52 win over Delta State on Thursday at Memorial Gym. Three players scored in double figures for the Commodores, including freshman guard Christina Foggie who paced the team with 14 points.
Ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, the Commodores started slowly from the field, hitting just 36.4 percent of its shots in the first half (8-of-22). Vanderbilt's last field goal of the half was a three-pointer by freshman guard Jasmine Lister at the 10:49 mark.
Despite Vanderbilt's field-goal drought, Delta State, who is ranked No. 2 in Division II, could not capitalize. Like the Commodores, the Lady Statesmen experienced their own drought to end the first half as they failed to make a field goal in the last 5:40 of the half and committed seven turnovers and four fouls during that time. The slow start by both teams kept Delta State within 10 points at the half, 27-17.
The Commodores took control of the game in the second half, shooting 63.0 percent from the field and scoring 46 of their 73 points. Meanwhile the Commodores limited Delta State, who is ranked No. 2 in Division II, to 33.3 percent shooting.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb started three guards, including freshmen Lister and Foggie. Senior guard Jence Rhoads finished with 13 points and a team-best four assists. Senior forward Hannah Tuomi chipped in with 12 points and senior forward Rebecca Silinski led the team with six rebounds.
The Commodores used a variety of lineup combinations throughout the game and played all 12 players that were dressed on the bench. No player played more than 33 minutes.
"I was just trying to get everybody in the game," Balcomb said. "For the first game I promised everybody they would play and I just wanted to get their feet wet. We've had some people hurt and who haven't played in a long time. Others have been waiting to put a college uniform on since sixth grade. Today we just wanted to get the game out of the way."
No matter the combination that was in the game, Vanderbilt was able to consistently get to the foul line. The Commodores attempted 31 free throws compared to 14 by Delta Sate. Vanderbilt also flexed its muscle inside, outrebounding the Lady Statesmen 37 to 26 and outscoring them by 20 in the paint (38-18).
Delta State was led by center Veronica Walker, who scored 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
Vanderbilt will play its final exhibition game on Nov. 9 when Union (Tenn.) visits Memorial Gym.