Wirth pushes No. 12 Vandy past Western Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Christina Wirth's 24 points and seven rebounds led the way for No. 12 Vanderbilt in its 90-72 victory at Western Kentucky.

The Commodores (2-0) dictated the pace the entire game, only trailing twice in the game and not at all in the second half. The Lady Toppers (1-1) started slow and never recovered, failing to get back on defense and turning the ball over 25 times against Vanderbilt's aggressive full-court press.

"The big thing we talked about was that we just have trust in each other," Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb said. "Being right here. Because this is a very difficult place to play, that's why we play here. [Western Kentucky] is very similar to an SEC team, athletically and with the adversity that is created with the fans here."

The atmosphere seemed to have little effect on the Commodores, who stifled the Lady Toppers with consistent ball movement that created many open shots and easy layups.

Vanderbilt led 51-37 at halftime.

The Commodores picked up where they left off in the second half, going on a 10-2 run out of the gate and continuing the full-court press. Western Kentucky came back to within eight points at 65-57 with 10:13 left in the game. A 16-2 run by Vanderbilt halted the Lady Topper's comeback attempt.

"This was a very disappointing loss to a team that coming in ... we knew what we were getting out of Vanderbilt," Western Kentucky head coach Mary Taylor Cowles said. "They are such a well coached and disciplined team, I felt our team was the opposite of that. We played a little helter-skelter in the beginning, but we got it back together in the second half."

Arnika Brown paced Western Kentucky with 20 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Amy McNear finished with seven points and a career-high 11 assists. Freshman Teranie Thomas scored a career-high 10 points off the bench in her second collegiate start.

Four Commodores finished the game in double figures. Hannah Tuomi scored 19 points, Merideth Marsh had 13 points and Jessica Mooney pitched in 10 points.

Vanderbilt hit 56 percent of its shots from the field. Western Kentucky capped the game shooting 45 percent on the day.