Vanderbilt 81, Western Carolina 36

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt women's basketball team improved to 12-1 in their final non-conference game of the season, defeating Western Carolina, 81-36, on Thursday, December 29 at Memorial Gym. The Catamounts fell to 4-8.

Christina Foggie was the high-scorer for Vanderbilt, matching her career high with 27 points. Freshman Kady Schrann had career highs in points (20), assists (six) and blocks (three).

Vanderbilt also got 12 points and seven rebounds from Tiffany Clarke, while center Stephanie Holzer scored nine points and pulled down five boards.

Western Carolina was led by eight points from Diamond Hunnicutt. Rena Wakama added seven points, while Shauna Terry led the Catamounts with five rebounds.

After the Commodores struggled to score early and Western Carolina jumped out to a 13-7 lead, Vanderbilt used an 8-0 run to force a Catamount timeout at the 9:11 mark of the first half. Vanderbilt continued to improve, opening up a 32-14 lead at the break. Foggie nearly outscored the Catamounts on her own, registering 13 points in the frame.

Foggie stayed hot and Schrann got hot in the second half, as the Commodores outscored Western Carolina, 49-22, in the closing period. The Commodores led by 49 points with 1:32 remaining, the largest lead of the season.

As usual, it was a concerted effort to create offense off of defensive stops and forced turnovers that helped Vanderbilt pull away.

"Focus on defense and getting clean rebounds helped us get good looks at the other end," Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb explained.

Balcomb was also quite proud of the effort Schrann has put forward in her rookie year, especially since Vanderbilt lost fellow freshman guard Maggie Morrison for the year with a knee injury and has been without junior guard Gabby Smith in all but one game due to a concussion. "Kady just gets to play," Balcomb said. "She gets to play through her mistakes and she just keeps getting better. She does smart and athletics things and she's just a sound basketball player."

Holzer echoed Balcomb's praise of Schrann.

"She came in over the summer in pick-up and we knew right away that she could play," Holzer said, cutting off a question to Schrann regarding whether she expected to play so many minutes entering the season.

Schrann's play could become even more important for Vanderbilt, as the Commodores saw Foggie leave after sustaining a shoulder injury with 7:25 left in the contest. The extent of her injury is to be determined.

The Commodores return to action for their Southeastern Conference opener on Thursday, January 5, when they travel to Columbia, S.C., to face South Carolina. The first of two meetings with the Gamecocks this year will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. Central.

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