Defense Fuels Commodore Comeback
Nov. 16, 2006
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The 15th-ranked Vanderbilt women's basketball team closed with a 17-2 run to earn a hard-fought road victory, 86-78, over Western Kentucky Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Senior Caroline Williams scored 19 points, including 14 in the second half, to lead the Commodores. Williams finished 9-of-9 from the free throw line, including six makes in the game's final three minutes.
Vanderbilt played four freshmen during the night, with all four in the game at one point midway through the first half. The newcomers combined to play 57 minutes, scoring 27 points led by Nashville product Jessica Mooney.
Mooney scored seven straight Commodore points in the second half, the last two bringing Vanderbilt within four of the Lady Toppers.
Freshmen guards Merideth Marsh and Lauren Lueders each scored five points, while post Amber Norton added 9 points. Senior Carla Thomas had another big night, scoring 18 points and adding nine rebounds. Point guard Dee Davis dished out seven assists.
Two free throws by Christina Wirth at the 2:15 mark gave Vanderbilt only its second lead since breaking out to a 5-0 advantage to start the game.
The Lady Toppers answered VU's 5-0 start with a 13-point run of their own. Western Kentucky built a 12-point lead nine minutes into the first half. The Lady Toppers were led by 10 points from Cammie Campbell. VU's Thomas scored the half's last four points, and eight of Vanderbilt's final 10, to bring VU within 43-37 at the break.
Western made 6-of-9 three-point attempts in the first half, but were limited to one three-pointer on three tries in the second period. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, made 17-of-24 field goal attempts in the second half to outscore Western Kentucky by 14.
Vanderbilt will open its 2006-07 home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 18, when Dartmouth visits Memorial Gymnasium for a 4 p.m. CT tip-off.
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