VU WBB: Dores Beat Belmont in Season Opener

Vanderbilt opened the 2014-2015 season Friday night with a 65-58 victory over the Belmont Bruins in a game that turned out to be more exciting than Vanderbilt fans might have been expecting.

In the early going, the game followed the script that fans expect when a mid-major team visits an SEC team for the season opener. In the first few minutes, Vanderbilt jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a 3-pointer by freshman Rachel Bell, and a jumper by freshman Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau gave Vanderbilt a 10-point lead at 17-7 midway through the first half.

But then someone tossed the script out the window. In the first half Vanderbilt never fell behind, but the Dores weren't able to extend their lead, either. Late in the half, the Bruins cut the Vanderbilt lead down to just three points before a layup by Rayte'a Long gave the Dores a 32-27 lead going into halftime.

Early in the second half, Vanderbilt returned to the script and stretched their lead out once again to 10 points at 44-34 on layup by Caron-Goudreau. But just as quickly, the script again went out the window and within five minutes, a 3-pointer by Belmont's Sierra Jones trimmed the Vanderbilt lead to just two points at 46-44 with 11:13 left in the half.

Vanderbilt responded with a 6-0 run, but once again Belmont had an answer. Finally, after playing catchup all night, the Bruins took the lead for the first time at 58-57 with 3:09 left in the game.

Their lead lasted until Marqu'es Webb hit a foul shot a minute later. Vanderbilt soon regained the lead at 61-58 on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Rebekah Dahlman. Then a pair of free throws by Caron-Goudreau gave the Dores a 5-point lead with a minute left. In the final minute, the Dores didn't hit all of their free throws, but they sank enough to seal the 64-58 victory.

Four Dores scored in double figures, led by Morgan Batey with 15 points, followed by Marqu'es Webb and freshman Paris Kea with 11 each, and freshman Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau with 10. Caron-Goudreau also pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double in her first game as a Commodore. Rebekah Dahlman added ten rebounds. Jordyn Luffman-Hartsfield led all scorers with 22 points for Belmont.

Next, Vanderbilt hosts Green Bay, a team ranked #4 in Graham Hayes' Mid-Major Top 10 Poll for ESPN. Gametime is 7 p.m.

Rachel Bell

Rebekah Dahlman

Morgan Batey

Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau

Christa Reed

Marqu'es Webb

Paris Kea

Paris Kea

Rayte'a Long

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Photos copyright 2014 by Whitney D. for

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