Vanderbilt led twice in the early minutes but after JaVonna Layfield's three pointer to put the Flyers up 8-6 with 4:28 to go in the first period, the Commodores would never lead again.
Morgan Batey's 3-pointer would end the first period with the Flyers on top 16-10.
In the second period things began to get really ugly for Vandy. While the Commodores suffered miss after miss Dayton added to its lead in building a 37-17 lead with 2:20 to play in the half.
Trailing 39-21 at the half, Vanderbilt would fare little better in the second half. The Commodores started the second half with a 5-0 mini run to cut the Dayton lead to 15 at 41-26 but that would be as close as Vandy would get for the rest of the game.
The Dayton lead had grown to 53-33 with 2:46 to play in the third period on free throws by Jenna Burdette and Vandy trailed 62-40 at the end of the third.
Vanderbilt was stuck at 40 points until Minta Spears sank two free throws with 5:59 to play in the game. Seconds later Rebbeca Dahlman's three pointer made the score 71-45. Vandy scored nine points from the 4 minute mark until 2:47 remaining but the Flyers matched every point. Kristen Gaffeney's layup closed out the game's scoring at 81-56.
Jasmine Jenkins led Vandy in scoring with 16 points. Rachel Bell had 11. The Commodores shot just 31 percent from the field, 25 percent from three point range and 65 percent from the line. Amber Deane led Dayton with 27 points including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Dayton as a team made 9 of 23 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb discussed her team's performance after the game.
"We didn't guard the basketball very well tonight," said Balcomb. "We didn't get out on their shooters, and they were able to make us pay for that."
Vandy falls to 1-1 while Dayton improves to 2-0. Next up for the Commodores is a trip to Green Bay on Saturday.