Another tough test ahead for Commodores

Nov. 23, 2013

With hopes of finding a new rhythm, the Vanderbilt women's basketball team is back in Music City.

The RV/RV Commodores, who have dropped two straight games, continue a stretch of challenging non-conference games on Sunday afternoon when they host RV/No. 24 Dayton at 2 p.m. at Memorial Gym.

After opening the season with three straight wins, the Commodores fell to Marquette in Nashville last Sunday and then lost to No. 2/2/ Duke, 88-69, on Thursday night in their first road game of the year.

Vanderbilt stayed in contention with Duke for the better part of the game, and faced a potentially workable seven-point deficit with 10 minutes to play. But the Commodores went cold down the stretch and Duke pulled away for the win.

Vanderbilt is now preparing for yet another stiff test as the Commodores will be facing a Dayton team that beat them last season in Ohio.

Dayton is off to a 2-2 start this season, with both of the Flyers' losses coming in overtime on the road (at Iowa and Michigan State). Dayton's wins have come over UC-Riverside and Akron.

Dayton is led in scoring by Ally Malott, who is averaging 17.3 points per game. Vanderbilt's top scorer is Christina Foggie, at 20.0 ppg.

Dayton won last year's meeting over Vanderbilt, 71-66, on Nov. 18, marking the Flyers first-ever victory in the series. The Commodores had won the four previous games between the teams, including two victories in Nashville and two in Ohio.

Dayton's most recent trip to Memorial Gym came during the 1999-2000 season, when the Commodores posted an 86-46 victory.

Dayton and Vanderbilt have been traveling similar paths in recent days.

Both teams have spent time in the rankings this season, with Dayton currently ranked No. 24 in the USA Today poll and receiving votes in the AP poll, while Vanderbilt received votes in both the AP and the USA Today polls.

The Commodores broke into the USA Today poll last week (coming in at No. 25) but fell out of the rankings after losing to Marquette last Sunday.

Vanderbilt and Dayton also have this in common: They each saw their 2012-13 season come to an end in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Dayton, a No. 7 seed, opened the tournament with a win over tenth-seeded St. John's before falling to Kentucky in the second round. Vanderbilt, a No. 8 seed in last year's tourney, downed St. Joseph in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut in the second round.

And one last similarity: Dayton and Vanderbilt are both very tough to beat at home. The Flyers went unbeaten at home last season and have won 14 straight at home overall, the seventh-longest streak in the nation. Vanderbilt has posted a 15-3 mark on its home court since the start of last season. The Commodores are 32-4 in their past 36 games at Memorial Gym.

NOTE: The Vanderbilt program is hosting a "Take a Kid to the Game" promotion Sunday. Fans who take part in the promotion can purchase discounted tickets and receive a complimentary youth ticket.



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