Vanderbilt vs Athletes in Action (Exh)
79 - 73
November 11, 2002
Memorial Gym


The Commodores unofficially opened the Melanie Balcomb era with a tough 79-73 win over Athletes in Action Friday night in Memorial Gymnasium. Leading the way for the Commodores was senior Chantelle Anderson with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

The Commodores, sporting new Nike uniforms, began the game with a three point clinic. Senior Chantelle Anderson scored on the first possession of the game with a conventional three point play. Following Anderson was a stretch where Vanderbilt nailed a three-pointer on six of their next seven buckets to cut the early deficit to 23-25.

Setting the tone for the Commodores in the opening half was sophomore Tia Battle as she turned up the defensive pressure to force two turnovers. Battle also contributed on the offensive end by going 2-3 on three pointers.

Fans at Memorial Gym were silenced on two different occasions when two starters were treated for injuries. Hitting the floor hard after having her feet knocked out from under her, Hillary Hager had to leave the game after only three minutes of action with an injury to the eye. Later, senior guard Ashley McElhiney rolled in agony on the floor for several minutes before getting help to the bench after colliding with teammate Jenni Benningfield. To a standing ovation, both returned before the end of the half.

The Commodores finished the first half leading 37-33.

The second half began with a significant effort to work the ball inside as the majority of the Vanderbilt scoring came from within the paint. Preseason SEC Player of the Year Chantelle Anderson scored early and often in the second half as she added 21 points to finish the game with 24.

For every run Athletes in Action made, Vanderbilt had the answer. When the lead dropped from eight to three on several different occasions, it was the Vanderbilt defense gaining control of the game.

Vanderbilt finished the game with three players scoring in double digits. In addition to Anderson, junior Jenni Benningfield scored 16 points and junior Hillary Hager added 17 with 2 three pointers.

The Commodores return to Memorial Gym for the second exhibition game Sunday the 10th of November at 1 pm to face the Reebok Lady Stars.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)