Dores Drop Opener

Love’s big day, Pehadzic’s strong Commodore debut pace Vanderbilt in season opener

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Putting together a big second quarter run to bring Vanderbilt within six of Little Rock on Saturday afternoon, the Commodores couldn’t overcome the Trojans’ hot start in falling 82-74 in its season opener at the Jack Stephens Center.

Coming off a nine-point win over Memphis earlier this week, Little Rock opened the afternoon hitting five of its first six shots to go up 13-2 in the opening minutes. Knocking down 60 percent of its shots in the first 10 minutes, the Trojans built a 21-point lead early in the second quarter before a 17-2 Vanderbilt run brought the Commodores back within six with 5:22 to play before halftime.

During the run, Enna Pehadzic and Chelsie Hall combined for 13 of Vandy’s 17 points with Pehadzic scoring eight of them.

Trailing by seven at halftime, Vanderbilt’s second quarter momentum carried over and brought the Dores within five at 43-38 on a Pehadzic layup with 8:11 left in the third, but Little Rock went on a 7-0 run to go back up 12.

Battling back again, Vanderbilt put together a 7-0 run of its own to make it a five-point game with 2:31 to go in the third. That was as close as the Commodores would come the rest of the way, though, with the Trojans holding Vandy at arm’s length throughout the fourth quarter.

Koi Love led the way for Vanderbilt with 24 points on 9-of-18 from the floor. Going back to last season’s finale when she scored a career-best 26 points against Auburn, the two totals mark her best scoring games to date in a Vanderbilt jersey. Finishing with a team-high 10 rebounds, it also marks the sixth double-double of Love’s young career.

Pehadzic and Hall rounded out Vandy’s list of double-digit scorers with Pehadzic scoring 17 points in her first game as a Commodore while Hall added 16.

Shooting 50.8 percent from the floor, Little Rock was paced by Ky’lie Scott’s 28 points and Brianna Crane’s 23. Together, the two shot 19-for-32 from the floor.

Vanderbilt is scheduled to open its home slate next time out on Tuesday night when it hosts ETSU at Memorial Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on SEC Network+.