Western is out of synch in Nashville

Aaron Viner and Western Media Services

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Nashville is known for its musical roots, but the Western Illinois women’s basketball team left Music City singing the blues Monday night.

The Leathernecks traveled to Tennessee to play Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt on Monday and left the Volunteer State with their first loss of the young season after running into a brick wall in the form of the host Commodores. Vanderbilt started fast and controlled play throughout in a 95-51 victory.

Six minutes into the game, the Commodores (2-0) already had piled up a 14-3 lead, powered by 63 percent shooting from the field. The Vanderbilt offensive attack continued as the team extended its lead to 27-10 with 10 minutes left in the first half.

At the 5:20 mark, senior guard Sadie Webb converted a contested layup for Western (1-1) to reach double-digits in scoring for the second straight game, but Vanderbilt still led at that point, 39-17.

The Commodores then went on a 19-0 run, ending the half with a 55-17 lead.

Vanderbilt shot 64 percent (21 for 33) from the field in the first half, including 6 for 11 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Western was just 6 of 38 from outside in the first half, and only 3 for 22 from 3-point range.

The Commodores continued to control the game after intermission and held a 70-24 lead at the 14-minute mark of the second half. Although the Leathernecks actually outscored Vanderbilt 27-25 the rest of the way, the damage had been done.

Webb finished with a team-high 12 points for Western, while freshman guard Lindsay Carroll added 10 points for the Leathernecks. Leathernecks junior Michele Salvatori bested her previous career high with 10 rebounds, 7 of them offensive.

Four Commodores scored in double figures, led by Jasmine Lister with 15 points and 7 assists. Elan Brown collected a team-high 9 rebounds for Vanderbilt.

The Commodores won the battle on the boards 48-33 and also shot an impressive 63 percent from the floor for the game.

The JD Gravina-coached Leathernecks will continue their first road trip of the season on Wednesday against another non-conference foe. Western will take on the Northern Illinois Huskies (0-1) at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center in DeKalb.

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