Vandy Leashes Bulldogs

Ryanne Allen impresses home crowd in Memorial Gymnasium debut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sparked by the play of its newcomers, Vanderbilt defeated Samford 81-51 in its home opener on Thursday night at Memorial Gymnasium.

Freshmen Ryanne Allen, Amauri Williams and Jada Brown and graduate transfer Marnelle Garraud combined to score 50 points in their home debut as Vanderbilt (2-0) registered its fourth straight home-opening win.

Vanderbilt improved to 4-0 all time against Samford (0-2), with all four wins coming in Nashville.

Allen led the way with a game-high 17 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field, including 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Garraud scored all 15 of her points in the second half.

Williams and sophomore Sacha Washington fell just shy of double-doubles. Williams had 10 points and nine rebounds while Washington had nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Dores started cold from the field, going 0 for 8 until Washington broke the drought with a layup inside that launched a 9-0 run to give Vandy the lead for good.

The inauspicious beginning wasn’t a sign of things to come as the Dores finished with 12 3-pointers on 48.0 percent shooting from deep.

Brown drained a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to give Vandy an 18-7 lead. Brown and Allen each hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, and the Dores entered the break with a 36-25 advantage.

The freshmen played a big role in the first-half scoring for Vandy. Brown, Allen and Amauri finished with 25 of the team’s 36 points. Allen was 4 for 5 from the field, going a perfect 3-for-3 from 3, for 12 points. Vandy’s bench outscored Samford 23-8 in the first half.

The Dores didn’t have any issues finding the basket to start the second half. They burst out of the locker room on a 7-0 run and steadily pulled away. Vandy’s lead peaked at 32 points in the fourth quarter.

The Dores limited Samford to 35 percent shooting from the field (18 of 51) and only 19 percent from long distance (3 of 16). Vandy forced 21 turnovers for the second straight game and converted them into 19 points.

Senior guard Andrea Cournoyer scored a team-high 15 points for Samford, but needed 17 shots and was 0-for-6 from 3.

Winning Start
After opening the season with an 82-71 road win over Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt has started 2-0 for the first time since 2019 and only the second time in the last eight seasons.

Up Next
The Dores hit the road to play Columbia on Sunday in New York at 1 p.m. CT (ESPN+).

Students will continue to receive free admission to all home basketball games. In addition, single-game sales, mini-plans and group ticket options are available. To view the promotional schedule, click here.