Vanderbilt's women's basketball team will open its 2010-11 exhibition season at 7 p.m. Thursday when the Commodores host Delta State at Memorial Gym. The meeting will be between two of the most successful programs in women's basketball. Delta State is the all-time winningest program in Division II basketball with 980 wins, six national championships and 15 Gulf South Conference titles. Vanderbilt is the 19th winningest program in Division I basketball and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 11 straight seasons.
Thursday's game will mark the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools. Delta State leads the all-time series 3-0 with the last regular season meeting coming in 1982. The game will be the first of two exhibition games for the Commodores. On Tuesday, Vanderbilt will host Union (Tenn.) at 7 p.m. in its final exhibition game.
Exhibition games will not be broadcast on the radio or online. All regular season games can be heard on 560 AM in Nashville. Fans can listen to the audio of all regular season games and watch every home game online by subscribing to Vanderbilt All-Access on VUCommodores.com. Fans can follow the game through live stats and by following VandyWBB on Twitter.
About Vanderbilt Coming off its 11th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, Vanderbilt's women's basketball team is primed for another trip to the Big Dance in 2011. Buoyed by a strong senior class comprised of first team All-SEC point guard Jence Rhoads, four-year starting forward Hannah Tuomi and veteran post player Rebecca Silinski, Vanderbilt returns a strong nucleus of talent that led an undersized Vanderbilt team to a 23-11 (9-7 SEC) record and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where it lost on a late basket at Xavier.
Under the direction of ninth-year Head Coach Melanie Balcomb, the Commodores will look to take another step forward in 2011. Also returning for the Commodores are junior forward Jordan Coleman, sophomore forward Tiffany Clarke and sophomore guards Elan Brown and Gabby Smith. Brown and Clarke earned freshman All-SEC honors last year and all four players earned multiple starts in 2010. The sophomore duo is part of an underclassmen contingent that makes up nine out of the 14 members of the team.
Vanderbilt's roster will also be infused with the addition of seven newcomers to the lineup. The group of newcomers includes a couple of familiar faces in junior guard Angela Puleo, who sat out last season after transferring from Georgia and redshirt freshman center Stephanie Holzer, who missed her first season due to injury.
Delta State The Lady Statesmen are coached by Head Coach Sandra Rushing, who is in her ninth season at Delta State. Delta State finished last season 27-4 overall and 12-2 in the Gulf South Conference. The team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Division II NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked No. 8.
Women's Basketball Non-Conference Single Game Tickets On-sale Single game tickets for all Vanderbilt women's basketball non-conference games are currently on-sale through the Vanderbilt ticket office. Fans interested in watching the Commodores take on the likes of Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Samford, UT Martin and others can reserve their seats by calling 615-322-GOLD or logging on to vucommodores.com.
Tickets for the non-conference games in Memorial Gym are $6 for adults and $5 for children under 17. Ticket packages are also available for groups of 25 or more. Groups receive special recognition on the JumboTron during the game. To order non-conference, single-game tickets call the Vanderbilt Ticket Office at 615-322-GOLD.