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Defense key to No. 14 Vandy's win over Florida Atlantic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Caroline Williams scored 17 points to help No. 14 Vanderbilt beat Florida Atlantic 81-49 on Friday to advance to the championship game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.

Defense carried Vanderbilt (5-0), which hit just four of its first 19 shots but forced 15 first-half turnovers en route to a 36-25 halftime lead. Dee Davis added seven points and 10 assists for the Commodores.

After a Florida Atlantic (1-5) 3-pointer narrowed Vanderbilt's lead to 29-25, Lauren Lueders hit a long 2-pointer and a 3-pointer to key a 7-0 Commodore run at the end of the half.

Mistoria Brown led Florida Atlantic with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Commodores had another 7-0 run to start the second half, led by a Williams 3-pointer and a Davis fast-break lay-up off a steal. Vanderbilt maintained a 20-plus point lead throughout most of the second half, allowing coach Melanie Balcomb to use her bench.

The Commodores will play No. 16 California (6-0) in Saturday's championship game. Florida Atlantic will play Belmont (2-2) in the consolation game.