Vanderbilt women rally for exhibition win over NAIA No. 1

Friday, October 30, 2009 at 10:39pm

Jence Rhoads and Tiffany Clarke each scored 15 points as Vanderbilt overcame Union, the No. 1 team in the NAIA, 69-48 in a women’s basketball exhibition Friday at Memorial Gymnasium.

The Commodores did not lead until Hannah Tuomi’s layup on an inbounds ply made it 39-37 with 12:23 remaining. They went ahead to stay when Tuomi (eight points, six rebounds) made another layup 1:50 later.

“I knew they were a good team coming in,” VU coach Melanie Balcomb said. “They were very well-prepared and an excellently coached team. … We expected a very good game from them – and a big crowd.”

Thy got both.

Announced attendance was 3,358 and more than half of those on hand were there in support of the visitors from Jackson.

Union led by as many as 13 – twice – in the first half, the second time with 6:55 to go in the first half.

Clarke, a freshman forward, and Rhoads, a junior guard, each had five points as Vanderbilt closed the first half on a 15-5 run. The Commodores then limited the Lady Bulldogs to just two field goals on 26 attempts in the second half.

“They put us back on our heels,” Rhoads said. “Luckily we were able to get in the flow of things and take over by the second half.

“It was loud in there. It was a great atmosphere. … So I think it was a good game for us.”