Nov. 26, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team put an undefeated record in its annual Thanksgiving Tournament on the line against No. 13/14 Oklahoma on Saturday, November 26, and came away with a 78-66 victory over the Sooners.
The Commodores used strong guard play to move to 6-0 on the season, led by a 24-point, six-assist effort from Jasmine Lister, who earned tournament MVP honors. It was a career-high in points for the sophomore. Christina Foggie, who joined Lister on the All-Tournament Team, poured in 21 points. She added five rebounds and three assists.
The Sooners, who dropped to 3-1, were led by All-Tournament selection Aaryn Ellenberg, who scored 22 points. Morgan Hook, also an All-Tournament team member, scored 16 for OU, while grabbing six rebounds. Joanna McFarland had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
It was a back-and-forth affair over the first few minutes before Foggie connected for a pair of threes to put the Commodores up for good. Oklahoma made several runs during the contest, but the Sooners were not able to pull ahead or tie after Vanderbilt took a 7-6 lead.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was particularly proud her team was able to survive several Sooner runs.
"We never let them tie it," said Balcomb. "We've been working on staying level-headed and continuing to execute in situations like that."
After using post play to dominate Lipscomb in the opening game of the Tournament, the guards stepped-up. It became even more important when redshirt sophomore center Stephanie Holzer found herself in foul trouble, but Balcomb knew the guards would be major contributors.
"When you play a team with this much size, you have to be able to distribute," explained Balcomb. "We knew we'd have to be able to go inside and outside."
Defensively, Balcomb was even more pleased. The Commodores drew several momentum shifting charges underneath, keeping the Sooners frustrated.
"Elan (Brown), Jasmine (Lister) and Jordan (Coleman) have been very good at drawing charges," explained Balcomb. "Christina (Foggie) and Tiffany (Clarke) have been getting better at it lately. It's huge because it's such a momentum change."
The Commodores defense was also evident in the turnover numbers. Vandy forced 24 Oklahoma turnovers and scored 27 points off those miscues.
The win marks the highest-ranked opponent Vanderbilt has defeated since January 14, 2010, when the Commodores downed No. 6 Georgia, 66-44, at Memorial Gym. Vanderblit now stands at 26-0 all-time in its Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Commodores return to action on Wednesday, November 30, when they hit the road for the first time this season against Austin Peay. Tipoff in Clarksville, Tenn., is set for 7:00 p.m.