ESTERO, Fla. -- Falling behind early is becoming a habit for the Vanderbilt women's team.
But these comeback Commodores don't seen phased by it.
They continued their familiar pattern on Friday night when got off to a lackluster start, but used a strong second-half performance to post a 71-54 victory over previously unbeaten Minnesota in the opening round of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
The Commodores now advance to Saturday's semifinals, where they will face No. 3 UConn.
Freshman Audrey-Ann Caron-Goudreau posted her third double-double of the season, finishing with 21 points and 14 rebounds -- game-highs in each department -- to help Vanderbilt improve to 5-0. Rebekah Dahlman also had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
"We've got different kids doing different things almost every night," said head coach Melanie Balcomb, "and that's exciting to see."
Shae Kelley led Minnesota (4-1) with 15 points.
Vanderbilt fell behind 14-6 in the first five minutes, but used a great defensive effort to seize control. For the game, the Commodores limited Minnesota to 26 percent shooting (17-of-65) from the field. Minnesota was 3-of-22 from 3-point range.
Vanderbilt has also started slowly in three other games this season -- including falling into a 17-2 hole against Wisconsin on the road -- but has rallied each time.
Christa Reed came off the bench to score nine points in Friday's win, and fellow freshman Paris Kea added eight.
Minnesota's Carlie Wagner hit a pair of early 3s to help the Golden Gophers build their quick 14-6 lead. But Vanderbilt responded with a 13-0 run to move in front, 19-14, at the 8:15 mark. Caron-Goudreau scored the final six points of the surge.
Vanderbilt eventually took a 24-20 into the locker room, and opened the second half with an 18-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half for a 42-24 lead. Minnesota got as close as seven points with 9:19 to go, but VU went on a 13-4 run to rebuild a 16-point lead.
"We knew we weren't going to outscore them," said Balcomb, "so we knew we had to defend and rebound. And that's what we did. It was a well-executed defensive game plan."
Vanderbilt won the battle on the glass, 52-35, including pulling down a whopping 23 rebounds. Caron-Goudreau had seven rebounds on each end.