Vanderbilt eased up for just a bit during its matchup against Denver on Friday night.
Even so, the No. 25 Commodores had no problem shaking off the six-minute lull and cruised to a 77-56 victory at Memorial Gymnasium for their best start in five years.
Sophomore guard Christina Foggie scored 18 of her 23 points in the first half as Vanderbilt (8-0) matched its fifth-best start in school history.
“We’re excited,” said Foggie, who scored at least 20 points for the three straight game. “We just want to keep working hard, not settle or be complacent and just keep working hard and building each day.”
The Commodores forced 23 turnovers and took advantage of 14 first-half miscues by the Pioneers (5-2). They led 49-21 at halftime and built the lead to 30 twice shortly after intermission.
Vanderbilt, however, went cold, going scoreless for three minutes in the second half. Denver took advantage, using a 10-2 run to trim the lead to 61-44 with nearly 11 minutes remaining.
Foggie, who had a career-high six 3-pointers, stepped up, hitting her final trey, followed immediately by an easy layup off a turnover.
The Commodores cruised to another lopsided victory from there. Prior to Friday, they ranked sixth in the country in scoring margin at 32.9 points a game.
“We have a young team and I think it is difficult to maintain that lead and to maintain the intensity and the level of consistency that we wanted,” Balcomb said. “We haven’t had any trouble with that earlier in the season but this game we did. I think we just got a little complacent.”
Elan Brown added 13 points and nine rebounds and Jasmine Lister and Kady Schrann each had 10 points.
Stephanie Holzer led the charge on the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds. Vanderbilt won the rebounding battle 44-31 and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds for 18 second-chance points.
It was just the second time the two schools have met, with Denver, out of the Sun Belt Conference, picking up a 70-65 victory at home last year.
The Commodores return to action at 2 p.m. on Sunday against High Point. Former Commodore standout Merideth Marsh is in her first year as an assistant for the Panthers. Marsh played at Vanderbilt from 2006-2010.