That scoring drought provided a golden opportunity for Vanderbilt to jump out to a lead, but unfortunately, the Dores missed shot after shot after shot. Free throw shooting allowed Vanderbilt to tie the game at 4-4 but the Dores didn't make a field goal until Christa Reed's 3-pointer with 13:41 left in the first half tied the game at 7-7.
After that, both teams began to make more shots, but neither team could gain the upper hand. Vanderbilt managed to take the lead a couple of times in the first half, but each time, James Madison quickly countered to tie the game or take the lead. At the end of the half, JMU held a 30-28 lead.
The pattern continued into the second half. Each time one of the teams took the lead, the other team responded. With 13:04 left in the half, the Dukes led by five points, their biggest lead of the game, but Vanderbilt came back to take the lead at 46-45 on a basket by Heather Bowe.
Although Vanderbilt had taken the lead on several occasions through the first 32 minutes of the game, all of those leads had been short-lived. That changed with about eight minutes left in the game.
With Vanderbilt trailing 54-50, Rachel Bell knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to one point. Then Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau scored on a fast break to put the Dores on top 55-54, followed by another 3-pointer by Bell to give Vanderbilt a four-point lead at 58-54 with 6:30 left in the game.
Although JMU was able to tie the score at 62-62 with 3:19 left in the game, the Dukes never regained the lead after that. For the next couple of minutes neither team scored until Jasmine Jenkins hit a clutch jumper with the shot clock winding down to put Vanderbilt ahead for good. In the end, JMU was forced to foul. The Dores weren't perfect from the line, but they were good enough to seal the 66-62 victory.
Vanderbilt was led in scoring by Rachel Bell with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. She also pulled down six rebounds and had three assists with one turnovers in 30 minutes of play. Rebekah Dahlman scored 12 points, and Heather Bowe scored 10. Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau, playing in her first game in three weeks, led the team with nine rebounds. Marqu'es Webb, who had also been sidelined for the past three games, returned in limited action. Khaleann Caron-Goudreau was dressed out for the first time this season but did not see action.
With the completion of the non-conference schedule, Vanderbilt begins conference play this Friday at Texas A&M. Game time is 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus. The next home game will be Monday, January 5, when Vanderbilt hosts the Tennessee Lady Vols at 6 p.m.
Photos copyright 2014 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com