Commodores fall to No. 23 Indiana on the road

Nov. 13, 2016

Box Score |

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Stephanie White picked a tough place — even though it was familiar territory — to have her first road game as head coach at Vanderbilt.

Traveling to Bloomington, Ind., the Commodores suffered a 94-61 loss to the No. 23 Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon. It was the 16th consecutive home win for the Hoosiers, who went 14-0 at Assembly Hall last season.

Indiana’s Alexis Gassion scored a team-high 22 points and Amanda Cahill added 17 for the Hoosiers (2-0). For Vanderbilt (1-1), Rachel Bell had 11 points and Marqu’es Webb had nine before fouling out.

White, the first-year Vanderbilt head coach, had a big gathering of friends, family and fans at the game. She came to Vanderbilt after spending the past six seasons with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, including the past two as head coach. She also was a fan favorite in Indiana during her playing career, when she was Miss Indiana Basketball as a high school player and was the national player of the year during her career at Purdue.

But Sunday’s homecoming didn’t go as well as White had hoped for her young Commodores, who have five freshmen that are seeing significant playing time. Vanderbilt shot just 36 percent from the floor, and never owned the lead in the game.

“We didn’t play very relaxed basketball today,” said White. “Indiana is a very good team, and they played exceptionally well in the second half. But have to do a better job of playing our game, and not letting the opponent dictate the game.”

With Webb and Bell providing the bulk of the scoring punch, the Commodores stayed within striking distance for much of the first half, and trailed only 35-31 after a bucket by Webb with 4:40 to play in the second quarter.

Then Indiana made its move.

The Hoosiers put together a quick 13-4 run — which featured a 3-point play by Gassion and a three-pointer by Cahill — to extend the lead to 48-35, and the Hoosiers carried a 50-38 lead into the locker room.

Indiana then opened the second half with a 12-0 surge, fueled by three 3-pointers, to take command, 62-38. Overall, it was a 27-7 run by the Hoosiers.

Four Indiana players finished in double figures, as the Hoosiers shot 52 percent from the floor. Vanderbilt went 4-of-15 from 3-point range.

Indiana built a 28-15 early in the second quarter after closing the first quarter with a 7-0 run and then scoring the first five points of the second. The surge was highlighted by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Tia Elbert, who banked in a shot from about 25 feet.

NOTE: The Hoosiers’ head coach Teri Moren was White’s AAU coach when White was a teenager.