Every year, the Vanderbilt women's basketball team hosts a four team tournament on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving. This year, the three teams joining the Dores are the Lady Bisons from Davidson University, the Liberty University Lady Flames, and the #14 Oklahoma Sooners.
The two first round games took place on a beautiful late fall afternoon in Nashville. In the first game, Vanderbilt played Lipscomb, and in the second, the Lady Flames played the Sooners.
Stephanie Holzer, who led all scorers with 17 points, helped Vanderbilt dominate the game from the very beginning, contributing six points to a 17-0 run by the Dores to begin the game. After that, Lipscomb never came closer than 15 points.
Tiffany Clark finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, her second consecutive game with a double double.
Jasmine Lister finished with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists to 1 turnover, and a steal. By halftime, Vanderbilt led by 26 points at 37-11.
Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was pleased with her team's performance. "To me, this was the best game we’ve played all year, and it has nothing to do with who we played or the talent level we played," she said. "We played for 40 minutes the way we need to play. Our players were extremely confident, unselfish, coachable. They were communicating. Their offense was dictated by their defense and our rebounding.
"We dominated on the defensive boards and the offensive boards," she continued. "We dominated in the paint, we got high percentage shots, and executed. And I think when you execute on both ends of the floor and you have fun playing both ends of the floor, that’s a team that you like to coach, and I just enjoyed it tonight. I felt really good about this game, and I think we built confidence from it."
Christina Foggie finished with 11 points, points which came from the inside, the outside, the midrange, and from the free throw line.
Elan Brown scored seven points to go along with her nine rebounds. So far this year, Brown has grabbed at least eight rebounds in every game.
Clair Watkins scored six points with two rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal in 16 minutes of play off the bench.
The comfortable lead allowed Coach Balcomb the chance to rest her starters for much of the last 10 minutes of the game.
Nadine Ndip played a career high eight minutes. She was 2-for-2 from the free throw line and also was credited with an assist.
Kady Schrann scored 11 points, which was her second game in double-digit scoring this year.
Even though she didn't shoot well for the night, Maggie Morrison finished with seven assists to only three turnovers in addition to this two-pointer late in the game.
Conquer and prevail! After Vanderbilt's slot in the championship game was secured, Oklahoma defeated Liberty 76-34 to earn theirs. In their game, Oklahoma was led in scoring by Aaryn Ellenberg and Morgan Hook with 22 points each.
Coach Balcomb described Oklahoma as big, deep, and athletic and pointed to Ellenberg as an example of their athleticism and said that Vanderbilt tried unsuccessfully to recruit her.
6-5 Jelena Cerina is one of Oklahoma's big players.
6-6 Nicole Griffin is another one.
The consolation game between Liberty and Lipscomb will tip off at 2 p.m. The championship game between Vanderbilt and Oklahoma will follow at approximately 4 p.m. Admission to both games is free, and prizes will be awarded at every media timeout during the Vanderbilt-Oklahoma game.
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Photos copyright 2011 by Whitney D for VandyMania.com