Love, Bartram Bury VCU

Vanderbilt holds off visiting Rams 90-81 at Memorial Gymnasium

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A career day from Koi Love and the hot hand of Brylee Bartram pushed Vanderbilt to a hard-fought, 90-81 win over visiting VCU on Thursday at Memorial Gymnasium.

Love, a sophomore who is 11 points away from 500 for her career, had 29 on 12-of-15 shooting. She scored at least six points in each quarter as the Commodores (3-1) won their third straight.

With the score all square at 71-71 on Thursday, Love put the game on her shoulders midway through the fourth quarter with five straight points. A Yaubryon Chambers layup pushed the score to 81-74 with 3:46 left.

The Rams clawed back within 81-78, but Bartram nailed her sixth triple of the day to virtually put the game to bed. Bartram finished with 18 points – all on made three-pointers.

Brinae Alexander nearly registered a double-double with 20 points and nine boards. Point guard Chelsie Hall – 22 points shy of 1,000 for her career – had 11 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

Vanderbilt is scheduled to be back in action at 2 p.m. Sunday against Gardner-Webb (0-5).

VCU came out and missed six of its first 10 shots, but still had a 10-7 lead at the 5:45 mark after a Taya Robinson layup. Vanderbilt, which had eight available student-athletes Thursday, responded with a 13-4 run and had a 20-14 lead after an Alexander layup with 16 seconds to go in the period.

Up 20-16 to start the second, Vandy scored seven straight to take a 27-16 lead after another Bartram three and an Enna Pehadzic jumper, respectively. VCU came right back with a 10-run, and even after Love’s layup broke a 2:44 scoring drought, the Rams tied the game at 29-all on Tera Reed’s triple.

Reed’s layup followed by Madison Griffith-Wallace’s bucket on the fast break put VCU ahead 33-29 and forced a Vanderbilt timeout. Bartram momentarily gave the Dores the lead back with her third three of the half at 36-35, but the Rams edged back in front to go up 40-38 at the break.

Love scored 14 in the first half and shot 6-of-8 from the floor while the rest of her teammates were 9-of-26.

Each squad traded buckets for much of the third quarter until Love put the Commodores ahead 53-51 with a fast break layup and then Hall drained a three making it 56-53. Vandy then took a 66-60 lead going into the final frame thanks to Hall’s follow of her own miss just before the buzzer.

Vanderbilt’s lead grew to 69-60 early in the fourth before three straight Sydnei Archer buckets forced a timeout from the home team with eight minutes to go. Reed’s layup after a Vandy turnover completed an 8-0 run and got the Rams within 69-68.

Sarah Te-Biasu’s three tied the score at 71-all and set the final with 6 1/2 minutes.

Reed finished with 21 to lead VCU (2-5) while Robinson scored 20, Archie scored 13, Te-Biasu added 12 and Griffth-Wallace chipped in 10.

Vanderbilt shot 52.3 percent from the floor as a team and registered 17 assists on 34 made shots.