VU women pull away at finish for decisive victory at Duquesne

Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 7:07pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt's women’s basketball team finally won a road game, and did so in convincing fashion.

The Commodores scored 21 of the game’s last 25 points and pulled away from Duquesne for an 80-59 victory Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Vanderbilt (7-3) snapped a three-game road losing streak and picked up its third consecutive victory in its first game since Dec. 9. In beat beat a Duquesne squad that had won seven straight.

“I can’t put it into words how important (the win) was,” Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. “They earned this win (Sunday) and finally got to enjoy the hard work they put in.”

Vanderbilt led 42-34 at halftime but Duquesne (8-2) hung around. The Dukes trimmed the deficit to 59-55 with 9:34 remaining and it appeared to be in the game for the long haul.

The Commodores, however, went on a 21-4 run to close out the game. They clamped down on defense, as Duquesne made just one basket the rest of the game and didn’t score over the last six and a half minutes.

Guard Jasmine Lister led all scorers with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Christina Foggie, who missed the last three games due to a concussion, added 17 points. Jence Rhoads had 12 and Gabby Smith finished with 10 points.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Rhoads, senior center Rebecca Silinski and freshman forward Stephanie Holzer, who are all from Pennsylvania. Two buses full of family and friends came from Slippery Rock, Pa. to cheer on Rhoads, a senior guard. On the second deck of the arena, a sign read “Welcome Home Pittsburgh’s Favorite Commodores.”

Vanderbilt will return home to play Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Gym.