NASHVILLE - Vanderbilt's women's basketball team opened its Thanksgiving Tournament with a bang on Friday as the Commodores crossed the century mark for the first time in three years en route to a 111-53 victory over Quinnipiac at Memorial Gym.
The win moved Vanderbilt (3-1) to Sunday's championship game at 2 p.m. against Princeton, who defeated USC 60-59. Vanderbilt is now 40-1 all-time in its home tournaments and has never lost in the 12-year history of the current Thanksgiving Tournament (23-0).
Leading 45-29 at the break, Vanderbilt used a 46-8 run to open the second half and pull away from the Bobcats (0-4) with a 91-37 lead. The Commodores shot 66.7 percent from the floor during its opening run of the half and finished the half shooting 61.5 percent.
The game was much different than last season's meeting at Quinnipiac, where the Bobcats came within one point of knocking off Vanderbilt after leading by as many as 16 points.
"I was very worried," Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said. "I think their coach does a really nice job. I think they fought extremely hard last year, and they had their best players back, and they have good recruits in. After our game last year, they shouldn't have had any respect for us, and they played like that the first couple of minutes."
A tip-in by Elan Brown with 4:42 to play gave Vanderbilt 100 points for the first time in a game since scoring 104 against Belmont on Nov. 23, 2007. The 111 points were the most by the Commodores since scoring 116 on Nov. 29, 1998 against Hampton.
The Commodores were led by Elan Brown and Tiffany Clarke, who each posted double-doubles in the win. Brown scored a career-high 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds for the first double-double of her career. Clarke scored 16 points and snagged 11 rebounds for the second double-double of her career.
Friday's game marked the first time scoring 100 points since Nov. 23, 2007 against Belmont when the Commodores won 104-43. The game with Belmont was also the first game of the Thanksgiving Tournament.
Vanderbilt's 58-point margin of victory tied for the 12th largest in school history and its second-half scoring margin of 42 points was the second largest in school history.
In the first half, Vanderbilt jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Quinnipiac went on a 13-0 run to take a 13-4 lead with 15:02 to play.
Vanderbilt tied the game at 13 by going on a 7-0 run. Quinnipiac would go back up 15-13 on a pair of free throws before the Commodores would score the next seven points to go up 20-15 with 10:01 to play in the half.
Down 13-6, Vanderbilt went on a 27-6 run to take a 33-19 lead with 5:51 to play in the first half.
Quinnipiac would pull back within seven, 33-26, before the Commodores closed the half on a 12-3 run to take a 45-29 lead into intermission.
Vanderbilt shot just 2-of-12 (16.7%) from three in the first half, while Quinnipiac made 6-of-10 attempts (60.0%). However, Vanderbilt was able to take advantage of 23 trips to the free-throw line, where it made 17 of its attempts (73.9%). Meanwhile Quinnipiac made just 5-of-9 attempts (55.6%).