Crystal Dangerfield had one of the her best all-around games in a Husky uniform, scoring 15 points thanks to a 5-of-7 from performance from three along with seven assists and four boards.
UConn jumped ahead quickly, bursting out to an 18-3 start. The Huskies had a balanced scoring attack in the first period with every starter scoring and nobody totaling more than five points.
Napheesa Collier dominated the boards in the first 10 minutes, pulling down seven rebounds. She had a double-double by halftime and ended the game with 15 points and 16 rebounds — the latter of which tied a career-high.
Not all was great in the first quarter, though. Despite the lopsided scoreboard, UConn looked a little disjointed at times, leading to a few ugly turnovers and bad shots.
While the Huskies’ defense was much maligned by head coach Geno Auriemma during the preseason, UConn locked down Vanderbilt in the first half. The Huskies played man-to-man as opposed to the 3-2 zone they played against Vanguard and Ohio State. As a result, UConn limited to Commodores to just 21 first-half points and held them scoreless for 5:33 in the second quarter.
Out of the break, Dangerfield took control. She scored eight of the Huskies’ first 10 points in the quarter, including a pair of 3’s. She did not miss a shot from inside the arc all game.
After sitting most of the first half with foul trouble, Olivia Nelson-Ododa looked better in the second half with five points and two rebounds. Overall, the freshman looked more comfortable on the floor and made a pair of impressive plays by drawing an and-one at the end of the third quarter along with a strong drive and difficult finish later on.
Despite going 0-of-5 from deep, Katie Lou Samuelson still finished with 15 points, adding six rebounds. Megan Walker contributed 14 points to the cause to go with three rebounds and two assists.
Next, UConn heads to the US Virgin Islands for a trio of games in the Paradise Jam. Their first game comes on Thanksgiving against Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m. The games will only be broadcast on Flo Hoops, a subscription-based streaming service.