VU WBB: Vanderbilt 85, Western Kentucky 60

Vanderbilt overcame a slow start to beat the Western Kentucky Lady Hilltoppers 85-60 Monday night in Memorial Gym. Christina Foggie led all scorers with 26 points, followed by Rebekah Dahlman with 18, Jasmine Lister with 11, and Jasmine Jenkins with 10. Alexis Govan led the Lady Toppers with 18 points.

After Christina Foggie knocked down a 3-pointer ten seconds after tip-off against the Western Kentucky Lady Hilltoppers, Vanderbilt fans might have been expecting the same kind of offensive explosion that produced 96 points in Friday night's season opener.

But it didn't turn out that way in the early going. The Lady Toppers quickly tied the game on a 3-pointer by Micah Jones, then took the lead when Chastity Gooch scored on a fast break resulting from a Vanderbilt turnover.

After that the Dores struggled to keep their heads above the water and although they managed to take a 1-point lead a couple of times in the first ten minutes of the game, the Lady Toppers remained in control for most of the first half.

"I think we were on our heels to start the game, and they really came out ready and aggressive and excited to play and loose with nothing to lose and everything to gain," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb after the game. "And I thought we came out flat, not ready, and kind of were a little shell-shocked at the beginning."

Fortunately for Vanderbilt, Foggie continued to knock down shots from everywhere, from beyond the 3-point line, in the paint, from the free throw line. Although Coach Balcomb prefers a balanced scoring attack, on Monday night she was happy to see her senior step up when the offense was struggling.

"Thank God she was there," she said. "That's why I was telling her 'Great job!' and she kept us in that first half. Without her, it would have been a tougher hole to get out of, for sure.

As it turned out, that hole grew as big as a 9-point deficit at 28-19 with 5:25 left in the first half.

But then the ship finally turned around. A jumper by Rebekah Dahlman and six straight points from Foggie brought the Dores to within one point at 29-28. After Govan hit a free throw to give the Lady Toppers a 2-point lead, Jasmine Lister scored in the paint to tie the game. After a defensive rebound by Heather Bowe, Kylee Smith's basket put Vanderbilt on top at 31-29 with 1:47 left in the half.

From that point on, Vanderbilt took control. Foggie's fourth 3-pointer of the first half gave the Dores a 36-31 lead, and a free throw by Morgan Batey put the half-time score a 37-31.

In the second half, Foggie picked up where she left off, knocking down a 3-pointer in less than a minute. Soon the Vanderbilt lead stretched out to ten points on a basket by Rayte'a Long.

Then Dahlman caught fire, scoring all 12 points in a 12-0 Vanderbilt run to give the Dores a 20-point lead at 56-36 with 13:02 left in the game. A few minutes later a basket by Lister gave the Dores a 26-point lead, the biggest of the night, and Vanderbilt cruised on to a 85-60 victory.

Next action for the Dores comes on Thursday night when they host the Delaware State Lady Hornets. Game time is 7 p.m.


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