Women's Basketball Cruises to Victory Over Youngstown
State, 91-60 11/30/02
Six players score in double figures for Commodores
Tenn. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team (3-0) advanced
to the championship game of the First Tennessee Tournament,
as it defeated Youngstown State (1-2), 91-60, on Saturday
afternoon in its 2002-03 home opener at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Commodores will play at 2 p.m. Sunday against the Harvard
Crimson, who defated Central Michigan, 69-58. The Commdores
will be looking for their 24th-consecutive Vanderbilt Tournament
victory and their 12th-consecutive championship.
The Vanderbilt-Youngstown State game was the two teams first
meeting. The Commdores came out of the gates rather sluggish,
as the Penguins trailed 9-8 less than four minutes into the
contest. The one-point margin would be the closest Youngstown
State would get the entire game, as Vanderbilt immediately
went on a 11-0 run over the next four minutes to stretch the
lead to 12 points.
The Commodores largest lead of the first half was 26 points,
which was the margin at the end of the first half (52-26).
Vanderbilt's 52 first-half points were its most points in
a half since December 31, 2001 when it scored 53 points against
Canisius in the first half. The Commodores finished the half
shooting 18-for-35 from the field for 51 percent.
Senior guard Ashley McElhiney led the way in the first half,
as she tallied 11 points, six assists and four rebounds. Nine
of her 11 points came on three-point field goals (3-for-5).
Junior guard Hillary Hager chipped in with with 10 points.
The Commodores did not skip a beat in the second half despite
scoring 13 fewer points. They finished the second half shooting
59 percent from the floor, which came on 16-of-27 shooting.
Vanderbilt extended the lead to 33 points late in the contest,
which was its largest lead of the game.
McElhiney was the story of the game, as she finished with
14 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. She has now recorded
double-digit assists in two of the Commdores first three games,
while having done it eight times over her career.
Head coach Melanie Balcomb received a well-balanced performance
from her entire team. Along with McElhiney, five other players
scored in double figures. Senior center Chantelle Anderson
finished as the high scorer for Vanderbilt with 16 points,
10 rebounds and a career-high tying six blocks.
Forwards Jenni Benningfield and Tia Battle scored 13 and 12
points, respectively, while guard Ashley Early finished with
13 points. Hager scored two points in the second stanza to
give her 12 for the game.
Youngstown State guard Barb Fabianova kept the Peguins in
the contest, as she finished with 20 points, which included
six three pointers. Center Tara Fleming posted 12 points and
nine rebounds for the Penguins. They will now play Central
Michigan at 12 p.m. Sunday.