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1996-97 Women's Basketball Review/Highlights

- Vanderbilt has won at least 20 games in six consecutive seasons,including 10 of the last 12 seasons (20-11 in 96-97)
- Vanderbilt made its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including nine in a row
- The Commodores are one of four women's basketball teams to advance to at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament each of the last eight years.
- Vanderbilt made its second appearance in the West Regional owning a 6-2 mark in West Regional action
- Vanderbilt played 13 teams, two twice, that made the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
- The 1997 NCAA Tournament marked the first time in eight years Vanderbilt did not play first or second round games at home.
- Vanderbilt won its first first-round NCAA road game with a 74-62 win over Washington and its second with a 51-44 victory against Kansas. VU entered the NCAA Tournament 0-3 in first and/or second round road games.
- Na'Sheema Hillmon and Michelle Palmisano named to All-SEC Team
- Lisa Ostrom named to Associated Press All-SEC Team
- Palmisano, Ostrom, Angela Gorsica, Nettie Respondek, and Beth Ostendorf named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll
- Gorsica and Palmisano named to the District GTE Academic All-America Team
- Palmisano named to the GTE Academic All-America First Team
- Palmisano and Gorsica earned their degrees at May Commencement both graduating Summa Cum Laude. Palmisano was a double-major in biomedical and electrical engineering, while Gorsica was an electrical engineering major.
- Palmisano is the first athlete ever to receive the Founder's Medal for the highest GPA in the Engineering School
- Palmisano and Hillmon named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Team
- Palmisano and Gorsica received the Kiwanis Women's Basketball Award
- Jim Foster selected as a candidate for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award
- Jim Foster received the Vanderbilt Affirmative Action Award
- Vanderbilt ranked 12th in the nation in average home attendance figures with 4,854 fans a game.
- The Commodores owned a 13-1 record in Memorial Gym for an overall mark of 217-56.
- Vanderbilt owns an 84-9 record under Jim Foster.
- Vanderbilt led the SEC in scoring defense (59.6), field goal percentage defense (35.5), 3-point percentage defense (25.6), 3-point percentage (36.1) and blocked shots (5.5)
- Palmisano led the SEC in 3-pointers per game with 2.7.
- Gorsica led the league in blocked shots with 3.8
- Gorsica ranked third in the nation in blocked shots
- Palmisano set the VU record for most 3-pointers in a season with 83.
- Vanderbilt played 13 television games owning a 5-8 mark.
- Vanderbilt held 18 of its opponents to less than 37 percent shooting from the field, including 10 to less than 31 percent.
- Vanderbilt's non-conference schedule was ranked the second most difficult in the country owning an 11-3 record in non-conference action.
- Vanderbilt won the MCI-First American Classic Championship (Vanderbilt, host) Hillmon, Gorsica and Ostrom earned All-Classic honors with Ostrom named MVP
- Vanderbilt was runnerup in the Central Fidelity Invitational in Richmond, Va.
- Hillmon earned all-tournament honors at the Central Fidelity Invitational.
- Jim Foster was selected as head coach of the 1997 USA Women's World University Games Team.
- Chavonne Hammond was invited to the USA Junior National Team Trials.
- Vanderbilt signed NIKE/WBCA All-American Ashley Smith of three-time national champion Oregon City and Leigh Strahinic of Danville, Kentucky.
- Smith was also named to the Parade High School All-American second team.
- Gorsica, Palmisano, and former Commodore Rhonda Blades were invited to the WNBA Mini-Camp held in Orlando
- Assistant coach Julie Plank was selected as a floor coach at the WNBA tryouts.


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