No. 12 VU holds off ETSU late rally

Nov. 21, 2008

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The 12th-ranked Vanderbilt women’s basketball team battled to a tough 66-55 win at East Tennessee State on Friday night at the Memorial Center.

Four Commodores scored in double-figures to hold off a late rally by the homestanding Lady Bucs. Senior Christina Wirth and junior Merideth Marsh led the Commodores in scoring with 16 points apiece. Ten of Marsh’s points came down the stretch, including a trio of 3-pointers that silenced the ETSU rally.

Wirth and fellow forward Hannah Tuomi were saddled with foul trouble for much of the second half, forcing the Commodores to use a four-guard lineup. Senior Jennifer Risper and sophomore Chanel Chisholm both stepped up in the post, as the Commodores out-rebounded ETSU, 40-31.

Tuomi posted the second double-double of her career with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Chisholm claimed a career high with 12 points that included 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Risper had a game-high six steals as the Commodores forced 27 Lady Buc turnovers.

Each team was whistled for 20 fouls, with a combined 33 free throws taken in the game.

ETSU took a 19-15 lead nine minutes into the game, but Vanderbilt closed the first half with a 21-4 run to take a 13-point advantage into the break.

Vanderbilt (4-0) faces a quick turnaround this weekend, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a Sunday showdown with the Michigan Wolverines. The game is scheduled to tip-off at noon ET (11 a.m. CT) and will be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network.