Women’s Basketball Closes Out Italy Trip With Victory Commodores Defeat Selezione Lombarda In Back-To-Back Nights 8/22/02

COMO, Italy. - Head coach Melanie Balcomb and the rest of the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team will head into the 2002-03 season with a little added confidence after completing their excursion to Italy with a 3-0 record. On Thursday evening, the Commodores defeated Selezione Lombarda for the second-consecutive time, 86-25. After 10 days of enjoying Italian culture and playing basketball, the team will return to Nashville on Friday afternoon.

“This has been a great bonding experience off the floor,” senior Ashley McElhiney said. “We were able to see the coaching staff’s personalities away from the gym. The ice is now broken. We (team) now know what to expect in October.”

Junior Jenni Benningfield led the Commodores with 20 points and five rebounds, while junior Hillary Hager chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds after going 8-for-14 from the floor. Seniors Chantelle Anderson and McElhiney scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.

“This trip has been a great learning experience,” Balcomb said. “In this third game, we saw a sense of confidence and comfort level in doing the things we practiced in those nine days (prior to the trip). Defensively, we created our offense that’s what we want to do. We converted a lot of steals and deflections and that set the tone for the game tonight. I’m pleased with the improvement of our defense from the first to second game (against Selezione Lombarda).”

The Commodores’ defense was the story of the game, as they held Selezione Lombarda to 15 points through the first three quarters, which included a two-point output in the third quarter.

Additional Quote Chantelle Anderson
“I would definitely say this was a successful trip. We’ve grown closer as a team. We know the coaching staff and we’re getting use to the things they want to do.”


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