Although the mood was festive, Belmont’s 111-74 landslide victory did not bring good tidings for the Commodores in their final game before the holiday break.
Belmont senior Kylee Smith, who transferred from Vanderbilt following her freshman season in 2013, dropped 27 points. The otherwise-frustrating game for the Commodores produced an opportunity for player development. Freshman Autumn Newby was tied for most assists on the team with six, and Chelsie Hall received Playor of the Game honors for scoring 10 points.
The Commodores started the game strong. Rachel Bell continued in the form of her 21-point game against NC State, making two baskets and a three-point jumper to give the team an early 7-4 lead.
“We started out the first five minutes of the game pretty good,” head coach Stephanie White said after the game, “But the level of intensity that we’ve been talking so much about just was lost.”
Three fouls committed by Christa Reed gave the Bruins a 15-13 lead. The Bruins took advantage of Vanderbilt’s many personal fouls on the line, making 22/25 on free throws throughout the game.
The beginning of the second quarter saw Belmont steadily lengthen their lead, until the four-minute mark when they jumped ahead. A variety of Belmont players made three throws and foul shots, allowing the Bruins to go on an unanswered 18-point run to end the 2nd quarter.
“Belmont’s a great team, and we knew that by the scouting report” White said. “What makes great teams great is that anyone can step up and block shots or make them on offense.”
The result was a luxurious 57-33 lead for the Bruins at the half.
The third quarter continued on as the Bruins kept Vanderbilt away at a length of 18-20 points without many notable events taking place. There was even a three-minute stretch in which the two teams traded free throws. The Commodore bench was energized when Kayla Overbeck celebrated after blocking a shot towards the end of the third.
Coach White reflected that the sophomore forward, who led the team with rebounds with eight, “showed more of her old fire and competitiveness.”
The fourth quarter saw Belmont race towards, and eventually surpass, the 100 point mark without relenting.
The Commodores will face Lipscomb at Memorial Gym next Thursday at 7 PM.