Benningfield Named SEC Player of the Week 12-29-03

Benningfield Named SEC Player of the Week 12-29-03


Vanderbilt women’s basketball player Jenni Benningfield has received her initial selection as the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week according to a release issued Monday by the conference office.  The 6’3″ forward received the accolade based on her 31-point, 13-rebound double-double performance in the Commodores 74-61 win over Rhode Island in opening round action at the Gatorade Holiday Classic in Miami, Fla.  The senior has led VU to a perfect 10-0 start and to 26th in both major polls by averaging 18.4 ppg and 7.9 rpg, while shooting a solid 51.1% from the floor.

Benningfield, a preseason nominee for the Wade Trophy, the Naismith and John Wooden Player of the Year Awards, hit 11-of-16 shots from the floor and 9-of-11 charity tosses to post a game-high 31 points, and help VU fight off a tough challenge from URI. Her performance against the Rams marked the second time this season that Benningfield eclipsed the 30-point barrier.  She tallied a career-high 34 points against the Louisville Cardinals in the 73-68 (OT) title game victory at the Vanderbilt Tournament.

The Louisville, Ky., native currently ranks 15th on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list with 1,252 career tallies and has reached double figures in each of VU’s 10 contests this season. 

The contest against the Rams marked her second consecutive double-double following a 17-point, 13-rebound performance on the road against the Saint Louis Billikens on Dec. 21.

Benningfield and the Commodore women’s basketball squad will next take to the hardwood against the homestanding Miami Hurricanes (10-0) on Monday night in the championship game of the Gatorade Holiday Classic.  Tip-off between the undefeated squads is scheduled for 6 pm (CT) at the Convocation Center (7,000) on the University of Miami campus.