White wins debut as Commodores roll in opener

Nov. 11, 2016

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NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt’s new-look offense hit a couple of speed bumps Friday night, but it was mostly a smooth ride for the Commodores in Stephanie White’s debut as head coach.

Paced by Rebekah Dahlman’s 19 points, Vanderbilt rolled to an 86-54 victory over Kennesaw State in the season opener for both teams. The Commodores scored almost half their points from behind the 3-point arc, making 14 shots from long range in the win.

Marqu’es Webb had a big night for the Commodores (1-0) inside, going 6-of-6 from the floor and producing a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Vanderbilt committed 18 turnovers, but shoot the ball effectively enough to overcome the miscues.

The Commodores were 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the second half — 72.7 percent — and finished 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) for the game. Overall, 10 players reached the scoring column for Vanderbilt, and the Commodores compiled 24 assists on 31 field goals.

It was just the type of offensive performance that White was expected to bring to Vanderbilt in her inaugural season.

After spending the past two seasons as the head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, she is implementing an up-tempo style with the Commodores, who sprinted out to a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter against the Owls (0-1) and stretched the lead to 42-20 at the half.

Clara Young and Allison Johnson finished with 15 points each to pace Kennesaw State.

Vanderbilt’s touted five-member freshmen class combined for 38 points in their Commodore debuts: Erin Whalen had 11 points, Kaleigh Clemons-Green had nine, LeaLea Carter had seven, Cierra Walker had six and Kayla Overbeck had five.

Vanderbilt visits No. 23-ranked Indiana on Sunday.