Jan. 15, 2011
CABOT, Ark. – Vanderbilt went unbeaten and took down No. 1 rated Maryland-Eastern Shore in the process as its strong play continued in the Mid-Winter Classic here Saturday. The Commodores, who now have won nine of 10 games here, ended the two-day total pinfall standings in fourth place, which qualifies them for Sunday’s championship match play Baker bracket. Vanderbilt will play Nebraska in its first round action.
“We made a couple of mental or execution errors in every game that kept us from chalking up some real nice pinfall but otherwise we were consistent,” said Coach John Williamson. “What I really liked today was that we were able to make some big shots in the 10th frame to win some matches. We got very good efforts from Brittni (Hamilton), Jess (Earnest) and Sam (Hesley).”
Vanderbilt toppled, in order, Prairie View, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Arkansas State, Jackson State and Alabama A & M. Hesley, who transferred into the program just this year, strung games of 212-201-192-162-210 while Earnest enjoyed similar success with 182-214-223-219-199 and Hamilton had three games north of 200.
“I am really impressed with how Sam is handling the anchor spot,” Earnest said of her new teammate. “It is not easy at anchor and I am so happy that she took the role and is there to make a big shot when we need it.”
Earnest said her day was aided when she “got into a rhythm and relaxed.” The Commodore sophomore, last year’s national Rookie of the Year, also credited her team’s improved communication, allowing her to make good adjustments and “figure out what I needed to do.”
The win over UMES was the only blemish on the senior-dominated Hawks’ day as they had back-to-back scores of 1,143 and 1,100 to pull away from the field in pin count. Everyone resets tomorrow with the pinfall only determining brackets in this large field.
Central Missouri 9,607
VU 961, Arkansas State 910
VU 938, Jackson State 735
VU 943, Alabama A & M 920