Dec. 2, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the third straight game, Christina Foggie cracked the 20-point mark, helping No. 25/22 Vanderbilt women's basketball to a 77-56 win over Denver on Friday, December 2, at Memorial Gym.
Foggie, coming off a 21-point performance against then-No. 12 Oklahoma and a career-high 25 points at Austin Peay, poured in 23 points in the win. The sophomore guard shot 61.5% from the field (8-13) and hit 6-9 from three-point range.
Vanderbilt also got a season-high from junior guard Elan Brown, who scored 13 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Freshman Kady Schrann was in double-figures with 10 points, as was sophomore guard Jasmine Lister, who dished out four assists.
Denver was led by 12 points from Kaetlyn Murdoch, who added five rebounds. Morgan Shell joined her in double-digits with 10 points. Emiko Smith dished out seven assists, while Maiya Michel pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Vanderbilt tried to capitalize on the size advantage it had over the Pioneers and did so to the tune of 30 points in the paint, to Denver's 16. Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb also felt that size advantage is what helped open things up for Foggie.
"Offensively, they were doubling our posts and forcing our posts to go fast and that's why Foggie got so many shots, but then they did a good job in the second half," Balcomb said.
The Commodores also did plenty of scoring off their defense, recording 33 points off 23 Pioneer turnovers.
Most of the strong defense came in the first half for Vanderbilt, a fact that was not lost on Balcomb.
"We have a young team and I think it's difficult to maintain that lead and to maintain the intensity and the level of consistency we feel that we need," Balcomb explained. "When you get up that big, we haven't had any trouble with that earlier in the season, but this game I think we did and I think we just got a little complacent."
Foggie's hot hand helped the Commodores lead 49-21 at the half, as the junior guard was 5-7 from three. After the Pioneers scored the first basket of the game, Vanderbilt responded with a 10-0 run and never looked back. In addition to Foggie's 18 at the break, Clarke, Brown and Watkins all had seven points in the opening frame.
The first half lead reached its largest point right as the horn sounded. Clarke pulled down a rebound with nine seconds remaining and the Commodores went right down the floor with Holzer making a layup on a pass from Lister as time expired.
The win equals the second-best start the Commodores have had under Melanie Balcomb, matching the 8-0 mark to open 2006-07. The best start a Balcomb squad has gotten out to is 10-0, which happened in the 2003-04 campaign.
In program history, the 8-0 mark equals the fifth-best start a Vanderbilt team has had. Vanderbilt's 1993 Final Four team won its first 17 games for the best start at Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt concludes a three-game, six-day stretch on Sunday, December 4, when they play host to High Point. Tipoff against the Panthers is set for 2:00 p.m.