Hannah Tuomi scored a career-high 29 points as Vanderbilt snapped a two-game losing streak with an 81-68 victory over Southern Illinois on Tuesday at Memorial Gymnasium.
It was the 200th career victory at Vanderbilt for coach Melanie Balcomb. She improved to 200-75 and joined Phil Lee and Jim Foster with at least 200 victories for the program.
“I’m glad I’ve been here at Vanderbilt long enough to get 200 victories,” Balcomb said. “I don’t get to play, so I’m thankful for all of the players who have played for me and the coaches that have coached with me. You certainly don’t win games by yourself.”
The Commodores led from the first basket all the way to the finish, but turned back an SIU rally when Tuomi made two free throws after the lead shrunk to two, 53-51, with 8:47 to play. That started a 9-0 run capped by a layup from Tuomi, who then added 11 points in the final six minutes.
“The game got within two points and at that point everybody saw that we really needed to lock down on defense, get some stops and go on the run in transition and get some points on our end,” Tuomi said. “Once we lock down on defense and get those stops, offense comes really easily.”
She missed a free throw with 13 seconds to play, which would have given her the team’s first 30-point performance in nearly four years
The senior post player finished 9-for-13 from the floor and 11-for-15 from the foul line in 33 minutes.
Freshman Jasmine Lister added 14 points, and senior guard Jence Rhoads had 11 points and seven assists.