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Williams leads Vanderbilt to tournament title

Nov 26, 2006 - 12:26 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Caroline Williams had the same answer for every California rally.

Williams scored 18 points to lead 14th-ranked Vanderbilt to a 67-55 victory over No. 17 California in the championship game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.

Named the tournament MVP, Williams hit five 3-pointers, including a pair that stopped two comeback efforts by the Golden Bears.

Carla Thomas scored 16 points for the Commodores (6-0), who used a 17-0 run spanning the first and second half to open a 39-20 lead on a layup by Williams with 16:20 to play.

California (4-1), behind eight points by Ashley Walker, closed the deficit to 49-40 with 6:37 left, only to see Williams bury a 3-pointer 18 seconds later to get the lead back into double digits.

The Golden Bears again got within nine, at 62-53, with 1:44 to go, but Williams connected from the arc once more to restore the lead to a dozen with 1:17 remaining.

Walker scored 19 points for California, which shot 39 percent (20-of-51) from the floor.

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