Nov. 29, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team delivered a golden performance on Black Friday.
And it proved to be a great bargain for Commodores' fans.
With free admission for all fans at Memorial Gym, a crowd of 4,446 saw the Commodores storm out to a 24-point halftime lead and sail to an 88-66 win over Elon in the opening game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.
Jasmine Lister scored a team-high 22 points and Christina Foggie had 18 for the Commodores, who improved to 5-2 on the season and 27-0 in the history of the Thanksgiving tourney.
NR/RV Vanderbilt will face Wisconsin, which beat Mercer, 77-72, on Friday night, in the tournament's championship game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The consolation game (between Mercer and Elon) will begin at 4 p.m., and admission is again free for both games.
Vanderbilt earned its spot in the championship game after putting together a red-hot start from long range against Elon (2-3).
The Commodores went 9-of-14 (64.3) from 3-point territory in the opening 20 minutes, with Foggie going 5-of-6. Vanderbilt shot 58 percent (20-of-34) from the floor overall while building a 55-31 lead.
Vanderbilt cooled off considerably in the second half, shooting just 40 percent from the floor (and going 2-of-7 from 3-point range) but still managed to maintain a comfortable cushion throughout the final 20 minutes.
Vanderbilt won the rebounding war, 41-28, and outscored Elon 38-26 in the paint.
"I was pleased with our effort on both ends of the floor tonight," said head coach Melanie Balcomb, "especially with our rebounding."
While Vanderbilt's seniors, Foggie and Lister, combined for 40 points, a pair of freshmen, Kylee Smith and Marqu'es Webb, also made big offensive contributions, scoring 10 points each. Morgan Batey and Jasmine Jenkins scored eight apiece.
Lister finished 9-of-17 from the floor and was aggressive going to the basket throughout much of the night. She also flashed her range, hitting 4-of-9 shots from 3-point range.
Smith finished 5-of-6 from the floor and also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds for the Commodores Webb scored her 10 points in just 14 minutes of action.
Balcomb said she was pleased with her team's energy early in the game.
"The big thing was that we came out ready to play," she said. "We shot the ball extremely well in the first half. In the second half, we continued to get great shots, but we didn't convert."
Vanderbilt exploded for 55 points in the first 20 minutes, representing the Commodores' highest scoring half of the season.
Foggie, who was named the Naismith Trophy Watch List earlier this week, scored 17 first-half points, going 6-of-7 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
Foggie needed less than seven minutes to reach double figures. After hitting three early 3-pointers, she added an offensive putback at the 14:47 mark. That basket gave Foggie 11 points and gave Vanderbilt an 11-point lead, 19-8.
Vanderbilt continued to extend the lead from there, pushing the advantage to 35-14 after a layup by Lister and a jumper by Schrann. Lister then addd a pair of 3s in the final six minutes of the half, helping the Commodores carry a 55-31 lead into the locker room.