WBB: No. 14 VU Hosts Thanksgiving Tourney
Nov. 23, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 14th-ranked Commodore women's basketball team plays host to the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 24-25) at Memorial Gymnasium.
FAU is no stranger to Memorial Gym, as the Owls played an NCAA Tournament first round game in Nashville last season. After winning the Atlantic Sun championship in 2006 and earning its first NCAA berth, Florida Atlantic drew top-seeded Louisiana State. En route to their third straight trip to the NCAA Final Four, the Lady Tigers defeated the Owls, 72-48.
Vanderbilt has never faced Florida Atlantic, which joined the Sun Belt Conference prior to the start of this season. The Commodores are 1-0 against the Sun Belt this season, having won at Western Kentucky last week, 86-78.
Friday's games will determine Saturday's matchups, with the consolation game -- scheduled for Noon -- to be followed by the championship game. Both of Vanderbilt's potential Saturday opponents offer intriguing matchups.
Local rival Belmont, situated less than a mile from Vanderbilt's campus, moved to 2-1 Monday by defeating a Southeastern Conference opponent, Mississippi State, by a tally of 67-60. Sophomore Alysha Clark scored 19 points and pulled down 20 rebounds for the Bruins.
California jumped two spots to No. 16 in the latest AP poll after wins over Florida and Pepperdine. The Bears are led by Ashley Walker, who is averaging 19 points and nearly eight boards per game.
Vanderbilt is looking to improve on a 4-0 start -- marking the fourth time in Head Coach Melanie Balcomb's five-year tenure that the Commodores have won their first four contests. After tough road wins at Colorado and Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt has handled Dartmouth and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home.
Senior forward Carla Thomas is averaging over 20 points and seven rebounds per game for VU. Senior point guard Dee Davis is dishing out seven assists per game to again lead the SEC.
The six newcomers on VU's 2006-07 roster are averaging 26.8 points in 68.2 minutes per game, led by forward Amber Norton's 6.3 points per contest.
The Thanksgiving Tournament will close a four-game homestand for the Commodores, who return to the road on Thursday, Nov. 30, to take on UAB in Birmingham, Ala.
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