CORAM, N.Y. — Start spreading the news, Vanderbilt’s trip to the Big Apple produced the No. 1 seed at the Dezy Strong cLASSIC and, for a special encore performance, Angelica Anthony had a perfect 300 game to wow the crowd at the Coram Country Lanes.
Vanderbilt won four of five matches Saturday while accumulating a total pin fall of 9,811, 76 pins ahead of second-place Tulane. The Commodores and Green Wave will square off Sunday morning with the winner getting an automatic berth into the championship match.
Stephen F. Austin and Youngstown State meet in the other semifinal.
Much of the buzz Saturday was about Anthony’s masterpiece. The senior strike-slinger from San Antonio has a reputation for torrid streaks and while she was in the midst of 16 straight strikes today – the last four frames of Game 1 and the dozen in Game 2 – she was incredibly in similar territory just a week ago at Tulane’s tournament in the Big Easy when she had 17 in a row including the front nine of a game.
A week ago, she misfired in the 10th and learned from it.
“I was very nervous last week. It was our first tournament and I wasn’t shooting my spares well,” Anthony said. “Even though I had more room to miss last week, I have a tendency to miss left so I moved a little on my approach. Today I was a lot more calm even when the shot was harder, the difference being I was making spares better this week and had more confidence.
“I got a good break on my 11th shot. As the 6-pin tapped the 10 a little late for the strike. I was able to stay aggressive on the shot. If I had been tentative I don’t think I’d have gotten the tap.”
The 300 was the fifth sanctioned perfect game in Anthony’s career and the news spread quickly – the crowd watching the Vanderbilt football game in Nashville watched the 12th strike on the stadium Jumbotron, setting off an explosion in Anthony’s social media.
The 300 was just the second in the 18 year program history. All-American Brittni Hamilton was perfect against Prairie View during the 2011-12 season.
Vandy defeated Monmouth, LIU-Brooklyn, seventh-ranked Youngstown State and Felician while losing a well-played game to Saint Francis University, running its tourney record to 7-3 and season mark to 18-5.
“I thought overall we had a very good day,” Vanderbilt head coach John Williamson said. “We challenged the team to play Round 2 better and wanted to show the best version of Vanderbilt bowling. I thought we competed well.
“Angelica’s 300 was outstanding. The corners (7 and 10 pins) are difficult to clear out in this facility and strikes are at a premium compared to normal. She didn’t get any breaks – sometimes you get a lucky Brooklyn or something – but she got into a rhythm and just repeated shots. Hopefully it will springboard her to a great fall.”
Vandy fans have noticed another of their all-time greats at the tournament. Maria Bulanova is working on her graduate degree at Saint Francis College in New York City and is a graduate coach for the Terriers.