WBB: #14 VU Smothers #16 Cal, 67-55
Nov. 25, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 14th-ranked Commodore women's basketball team played smothering defensive basketball en route to a 67-55 win over No. 16 California in the championship game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.
Ashley Walker led the Golden Bears with 19 points, while Rama N'diaye posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
California's only lead of the game came on their first possession, as Alexis Gray-Lawson opened with a three-pointer. Thomas and sophomore Christina Wirth would combine for Vanderbilt's first 18 points before a steal and three-point play by sophomore Jennifer Risper, as Vanderbilt opened up a seven-point lead 12 minutes into the game.
The Commodores led by 11 at the half after a steal and layup by freshman Merideth Marsh. They would continue to grow that lead during a 17-0 run, capped by a fast-break lay-up by Williams assisted by senior Dee Davis.
The Bears, without the services of forward Devanei Hampton, who injured her leg in the first half of the game, cut Vanderbilt's lead down to nine twice in the second half. but Williams answered both times with three-pointers. She went 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the second half.
Vanderbilt hits the road on Thursday, Nov. 30, to face UAB in Birmingham, Ala., before returning home to play Clemson on Sunday, Dec. 3. The Clemson game, which tips at 4 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on ESPN2, has been earmarked as a "Pink Out" to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
In Saturday's consolation game, two free throws by Laura Cowley with 7.7 seconds on the clock propelled Belmont past Florida Atlantic, 67-65. The Bruins' Alysha Clark and Owls' Mistoria Brown were both all-tournament honorees.
Caroline Williams, Vanderbilt -- Tournament MVP
Carla Thomas, Vanderbilt
Ashley Walker, California
Alysha Clark, Belmont
Mistoria Brown, Florida Atlantic
Women's Basketball Headlines