In the first six minutes of the game, the Dores scored 19 points, including nine points from Christina Foggie on three 3-pointers, to give Vanderbilt a 10-point lead at 19-9.
With the SEC season just around the corner, that opening spurt is a positive sign for a Vanderbilt team that often struggled out of the gate earlier in the season. In the last game before the break, Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb had shuffled the starting lineup in the hope of finding a combination that would click from the opening tip.
She used the same starting lineup -- senior guards Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie, junior guard Kady Schrann, sophomore post Heather Bowe and sophomore G/F Morgan Batey -- against the Blazers. Everybody in the lineup was productive, and all eight baskets during the opener spurt were assisted. The only starter that didn't score during that span was Lister, but she dished out four of the eight assists.
As it turned out, that opening barrage was enough to keep the Dores on top for the rest of the game, but it wasn't easy. After Vanderbilt's initial punch, the Blazers picked themselves up and punched back. After falling into a deep hole early, UAB used the 3-point shot, including four by Chelsee Black, to trim the lead to single digits. Just before the first half ended, a 3-pointer by Ashley Grimes cut the Vanderbilt lead to just three points at 44-41.
But coming out of the locker room, once again Vanderbilt's starting lineup was ready to play. In just four minutes, that skinny 3-point halftime lead had ballooned out to 15 points at 54-41.
Just like they had in the first half, the Blazers punched back. But in the second half, the Dores were able to fend off the attack. UAB trimmed the deficit down to ten points five different times in the second half, but each time, Vanderbilt was able to get a stop or hit a clutch basket to maintain the double-digit lead to end the game with a 87-76 victory.
Next action for Vanderbilt is back home in Memorial Gym for the SEC season opener when the Georgia Lady Bulldogs come to visit. Game time is 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on CSS.