Jan. 2, 2007
"ON FIRE" IN FIRST HALF
The Kenner, La., native put on a clinic during the opening half of Tuesday's 74-69 victory over Rice in Houston, Tex. The junior swingman mixed agressive inside play with hot outside shooting to collect 26 points (10-12 FG, 4-5 3PG) before the break, just four points shy of his career game high (30 vs. Alabama in 2006). Foster finished with 29 as the Commodores gained their tenth win of the year heading into conference play.
HOUSTON (AP) -- Forward Shan Foster matched a season-high 29 points, 26 of those in the first half, and Vanderbilt survived a late Rice rally for a 74-69 victory Tuesday night.
The Commodores (10-4) jumped out to an 18-0 lead in the first eight minutes behind Foster's hot shooting and led 45-27 at the half.
The Owls (6-6) chipped away at the Vanderbilt lead throughout the second half, and didn't allow the Commodores a field goal in the last 9:17.
Morris Almond led Rice with a career-high 44 points, including 27 in the second half, and 12 rebounds. The 44 points was the most by a Rice player since Kendall Rhine scored 44 against Arkansas in 1963.
Almond scored nine of his points in the final two minutes before fouling out with three seconds remaining.
The Owls cut the Vanderbilt lead to less than five points four times in the final 1:05, but the Commodores converted 9 of 12 free throw attempts in the final 1:38. Dan Cage hit 4 of 6 of the free throws in the final 24 seconds.
Cage added 11 points for Vanderbilt.
The Commodores shot 53 percent from the floor while Rice managed just 36 percent.