Dec. 21, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The Vanderbilt women's basketball team gave their fans an early Christmas present Saturday by delivering a dominating performance, and Jasmine Lister provided a stocking stuffer by reaching a career milestone.
Freshman Kylee Smith scored a game-high 17 points, Heather Bowe added 16 and Lister notched her 500th career assist as the Commodores extended their winning streak to seven games by rolling past UNC Asheville, 83-57, before a crowd of 3,201 at Memorial Gym.
Smith finished 7-of-9 from the floor and pulled down six rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Sophomore Jasmine Jenkins added 12 points and Marqu'es Webb had 10 as the Commodores put four players in double figures. Christina Foggie and Lister had nine points each.
Tianna Knuckles scored 17 to lead UNC Asheville (4-7).
Lister finished with a team-high seven assists, including the 500th of her career when she fed Marqu'es Webb for a short jumper late in the first half.
Lister now has 503 career assists, the sixth most in Vanderbilt history, and is likely to soon pass former Commodore Rhonda Blades (505) for fifth place on the all-time list.
"Jasmine has done nothing but overachieve since she (got to Vanderbilt)," said head coach Melanie Balcomb. "She's set a standard here."
The NR/RV Commodores improved to 10-2, and will now head into the holidays on a high note. They will now have four days off before returning to campus to begin preparing for their next game against UAB on Dec. 30.
Bowe, who finished 6-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the foul line, said Saturday's game was a good momentum builder as the Commodores move closer to the conference schedule.
"This was a solid win before the break," said Bowe. "UNC Asheville was a good team ... (and) we play some great teams in January."
Saturday's win helped highlight a big day for the Vanderbilt program, which hosted a women's and men's doubleheader. (The men played Georgia Tech later in the day). Also, the women's game featured the popular Teddy Bear Toss promotion -- which provides stuffed animals for local children and was sponsored by Erie Insurance.
The Vanderbilt players were certainly in the giving spirit, as they produced a season-high 28 assists in the victory.
Smith said Vanderbilt's ball movement was the key to the victory, and said her teammates showed faith in her by getting her open shots.
"Having the confidence of the team behind you can boost you to do anything," said Smith.
The freshman from Alpharetta, Ga., said the Commodores are pleased with their 10-2 record but they know they have plenty of work ahead of them.
"We're not content," she said.
The Commodores have been plagued by slow starts in several home games this season, but that wasn't the case against UNC Asheville.
Vanderbilt jumped out to an 8-2 lead on the strength of six early points from Bowe, stretched the advantage to 20-10 on a 3-pointer by Foggie and then used a 10-0 run -- which featured six points from Jenkins -- to take a 38-17 lead late in the half. UNC Asheville scored the final basket just before the horn, and the Commodores took a 38-21 lead into the locker room.
Smith had 11 points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes, and Bowe added 10 points and three rebounds.
Vanderbilt built its big lead despite struggling from 3-point range. The Commodores, who came into the day as the SEC's top 3-point shooting team, were just 2-of-9 from long range in the first half and finished 3-of-13.