By David Dawson
DAYTON, Ohio -- The Vanderbilt women got off to a cold start Wednesday night, and by the time the Commodores started to warm up, the deficit on the scoreboard was far too big to overcome.
Playing the first road game of the season, Vanderbilt was limited to just seven field goals in the first half and suffered an 81-56 loss at Dayton.
Jasmine Jenkins finished with a team-high 16 points for the Commodores (1-1) and Rachel Bell added 11. Amber Deane had a career-high 27 points for the RV/RV Flyers, who are off to a 2-0 start this season after advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last year.
"Bottom line, they are a team that's further along than we are right now," said Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb. "I didn't fault our effort tonight, just our execution. The girls played hard, but we also found out that we have some things to work on."
Vanderbilt went 7-of-33 (21 percent) from the floor in the first half -- including just 2-of-14 from 3-point range -- and went to the locker room trailing 39-21. The Commodores shot a respectable 44 percent in the second half, but Dayton managed to protect, and even expand, its lead throughout the final two quarters.
Saicha Grant-Allen posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Dayton, and Kelley Austria had 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
"Dayton lost some good players from last year, but they are a really good basketball team again," said Balcomb. "This was a good game for us in terms of finding out where we are and what we need to work on."
Trailing 39-21 after enduring the cold-shooting first half, the Commodores put together a quick 5-0 flurry -- on a long jumper by Reed and a 3-point play by Jenkins -- to cut the deficit to 41-26 early in the third quarter. Dayton's lead hovered around the 15-point mark for the most of the quarter before a late surge enabled the Flyers to build a 59-37 cushion. Dayton's lead never dipped below 20 points the rest of the way.
"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."
After Vanderbilt grabbed an early 6-5 lead on a 3-pointer by Bell, the Flyers ripped off an 11-1 run, fueled by a pair of 3s, to build a 16-7 lead. Morgan Batey closed the quarter with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 16-10 for Vanderbilt, which shot just 18 percent (3-of-16) from the floor in the quarter.
Dayton opened the second quarter with 10-0 run, which included 3s by Deane and Burdette, to quickly stretch the lead to 26-10 before Jenkins ended the run with a 3-point play for the Commodores. Dayton put together another big run -- this one 11-4 -- later in the quarter to extend the advantage to 37-17, and the Flyers eventually took a 39-21 lead into the half.
NOTES: Dayton hit as many 3-pointers in the first half as the Commodores did field goals, as the Flyers finished 7-of-17 from long range while Vanderbilt went 7-of-33 from the floor overall (21 percent). VU was just 2-of-14 (14 percent) from behind the arc. .... Kendall Shaw made her first career start for Vanderbilt. ... The teams combined for 55 total fouls (30 on Vanderbilt).