- Today's game marks the start of the 41st season of women's basketball at Vanderbilt and the second season for head coach Stephanie White and her staff on West End. In White's first season, the Commodores went 14-16 and posted key wins over Duke and SEC foes Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU.
- The Commodores played one exhibition game this preseason taking on the Marian Knights on Oct. 29. The Dores posted a 90-78 win over the Knights and had five players in double figures led by 17 points from senior Rachel Bell. Erin Whalen (16) Christa Reed (13), Chelsie Hall (11) and Autumn Newby (10) were also in double figures. Newby added a team-best nine rebounds.
- Vanderbilt returns eight players from the 2016-17 roster including its top four leading scorers, led by senior guard Rachel Bell who averaged a team-best 11.3 points per game last year. The Commodores also return second-leading rebounder Kayla Overbeck who averaged 7.2 rebounds during her freshman campaign.
- Seniors Rachel Bell and Christa Reed are approaching the 1,000-point milestone. Bell enters the season just 174 points away from the milestone while Reed needs just 268 points to hit the mark. Should both seniors reach the mark, it will be the first time since the 2012-13 season in which two or more players have hit the milestone.
- The Commodore women's basketball family expanded by two during the NCAA's early signing period as local products, Briane Alexander (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Jordyn Cambridge (Nashville, Tenn.) inked with the Commodores. The duo is the No. 18 class nationally.
With A Win
-The Commodores pick up a season-opening win for the 12th consecutive season
-Move Vanderbilt to 2-0 in season and home openers in the White era
-Give Vanderbilt its fifth consecutive win over the Blue Raiders
Vanderbilt is looking for its 12th consecutive season opening win when it takes on Middle Tennessee State. You would have to go back to the 2005-06 season for the last time the Commodores lost a season-opening game and back to the 1985-86 for the last time Vanderbilt lost a home opener.
Just 34.3 miles separate Murfreesboro and Nashville but the women's basketball teams are meeting for just the 17th time in Fridays' opener and the first time in the regular season since the 1991-92 season. The teams did square off in an NCAA Tournament game in Nashville in 2011-12, a game the Commodores won, 60-46.
The Commodores will be road tested this season -- early and often. Seven of Vanderbilt's first 10 games will come on the road with the Dores playing just two home games the entire month of November. After Friday's game against Middle Tennessee the Commodores don't come back to Memorial Gym until Nov. 20 and the next home game after that is Dec. 2 against Iowa State for the Big 12/SEC Challenge.