"It said, ‘They're not going to block your shot, they're not going to block your shot,'" Moore said on Wednesday night after the Commodores dismantled Dayton 90-74. "I wanted to come out and set a tone tonight for him and play for him because I love him. He was our roommate and suitemate. I just miss him."
Doster was memorialized before the game with a moment of silence that had special meaning to four members of the basketball team. Moore, Corey Smith, Julian Terrell and Derrick Byers all lived with Doster, who was killed on Dec. 26 in Tampa. Moore and Terrell had messages on their shoes to honor Doster's memory.
"I thought the guys handled it well, both in practice and in the game tonight," said Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, whose team moved to 8-4. "I know all of them are hurting, but they are handling it well."
Moore came out emotionally charged, scoring five points, dishing for an assist and coming up with a steal in the game's first three minutes. Moore would finish with 13 points and a career-high eight assists as Vanderbilt played one of its best games of the year.
"(Kwane) probably would have said ‘Lights out,' at least until those last 10 minutes because I think we played well tonight," Moore said. "I think he would have been happy with the outcome."
The outcome, at least in the history books, reads that Vanderbilt beat the Flyers by one less point than they beat Appalachian State. But the numbers do not reflect reality.
After struggling past Appalachian State prior to Christmas, Vanderbilt came out smoking against Dayton. Vanderbilt built leads of 11-2, 22-7, 35-15 and 66-38 before a late Dayton run made the score semi-respectable. But make no mistake: Vanderbilt pounded a Dayton squad that was even with Cinicinnati with five minutes to play (a claim Vanderbilt cannot make).
As has often been the case at home this season, Vanderbilt was lights out shooting the ball. Both Dan Cage and Dawid Przybyszewski were five for six from 3-point range as the Dores connected on 13 of 23 (a season-high 57 percent). Six Commodores reached double figures against a Dayton squad that was only surrendering an average of 60.5 points per game entering the contest.
Stallings said Dayton chose to take away the back-door cuts, leaving Vanderbilt an opportunity to have some open 3-pointers. "A lot of it was a function of how they guarded us," he said."
With 23 assists on 29 buckets, the Vanderbilt offense executed cleanly all night. Przybyszewski led the scoring column with 19 points, while Cage and Smith had 15 points each. DeMarre Carroll and Terrell had 10 points apiece, with Carroll leading the rebounding column with eight in 23 minutes.
In snapping Dayton's five-game winning streak, Vanderbilt extended its to four heading into Sunday's game with Louisiana-Lafayette. Vanderbilt stands a perfect 8-0 at home (with an average victory margin of 19.9 points) and has a 21-game non-conference home winning streak.
"The sky is the limit for this team," Moore said. "I don't know how well we can play."