BIMINI, Bahamas – In the opening game of the Junkanoo Jam on Thursday, the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team fell in the closing minutes to Rutgers 62-56 at the Gateway Academy Gym in Bimini.
Senior Mariella Fasoula was one of three Commodores in double figures with a team-high 17 points, but the defeat dropped Vanderbilt to 5-2 this season.
Vanderbilt will play in the consolation of the Bahamian tournament at 6:45 p.m. CT Friday against Seton Hall.
How it Happened
In the opening quarter, Vanderbilt’s defense was stifling and Fasoula’s nine points matched the Scarlet Knights as Vandy opened up a 17-9 lead. The Commodores held Rutgers without a field goal for more than six minutes and forced four turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Commodores shot just 20 percent and Rutgers slowly cut into the lead. The Scarlet Knights hit a half-court buzzer beater to close within 28-27 at intermission.
Rutgers took a brief lead with the first basket of the second half, but Vanderbilt regained that edge on the next possession and held a 45-41 advantage heading to the final frame.
A 9-1 run put the Scarlet Knights up 53-48 with 5:58 to play and the Commodores were not able to draw even again. It was a 57-56 game after Fasoula’s layup with 1:03 left.
Rutgers answered with a bucket and Kiara Pearl’s game-tying 3-point attempt rattled out on the ensuing possession. Rutgers made its free throws to close out the game.
By the Numbers
Freshman Koi Love added 13 points and senior LeaLea Carter had 10.
Senior Chelsie Hall led the Commodores with five assists while Fasoula had a team-high seven rebounds (Carter also added six boards).
Vanderbilt shot just 33.3 percent from the floor while Rutgers finished at 43.6 percent. The Commodores held a 43-36 rebounding advantage and outscored the Scarlet Knights bench 25-8, but did have 20 turnovers.
Vanderbilt fell to 0-1 all-time in games played in a foreign country … The Commodores are now 2-1 all-time against Rutgers … Sophomore Brinae Alexander left the game in the first quarter due to injury and did not return.