by Mike Potter
N.C. State got into a deep hole early and tried to climb out of it the rest of the way, but never got out of it in a 77-71 loss to No. 21 Vanderbilt in the championship game of the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.
Tournament MVP Meredith Marsh, who finished with a game-high 21 points, hit three 3-pointers early to help the Commodores (6-0) a 13-0 lead.
Nikitta Gartrell (pictured) scored 15 points for N.C. State (5-2), which had a four-game winning streak snapped. Lucy Ellison - who was named to the all-tourney team - added 14 points and 12 rebounds for her second straight double-double, Bonae Holston 13 points and 12 rebounds and Brittany Strachan 11 points.
Vanderbilt, which got 12 points from Jence Rhoads, hit 28 of 35 free throws.
The Wolfpack's next game is at home on Thursday night against Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.