Jan. 27, 2007
VU jumped out of the gates early Saturday due to unselfish team play. Ross Neltner was the key, as he spread the ball around and created several easy baskets for his teammates. The 6-9 big man tallied four points, four assists, and three boards in the opening ten minutes of play. The Commodores built a 15 point half time lead with 9 of 10 players scoring, plus 12 team assists on 17 field goals. They also scorched the nets by shooting 63% in the first half.
The Commodores knew a 15 point lead at the half wouldn't be enough to knock off this scrappy Rebel squad. Just recently, Ole Miss outscored Tennessee 55-31 in the second half to defeat the Vols, and almost pulled off a stunner against Florida after being down by as many as 25 points.
NO THREES, NO SWEAT
Once again, Vanderbilt shut down its opponent from long range. After limiting Ole Miss to 7-of-25 from behind the arc, the 'Dores have now held opponents to only 28 percent (27-98) from downtown in the past four games.
WELCOME BACK, COACH
Legendary Vanderbilt Coach Roy Skinner (1959-1976) was honored in a half time ceremony Saturday. The winningest coach in school history was joined by family, friends, former players, and university staff to salute his brilliant career, in which he won 278 games, including SEC Championships in 1965 and 1974.
With the 'Dores trailing 63-62, Shan Foster electrified the crowd with a thunderous putback slam in mid-air off JeJuan Brown's missed jumper.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Derrick Byars scored 19 points and three other Commodore players scored in double figures as Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss 85-80 Saturday.
Clutch foul shooting down the stretch helped the Commodores hold off a furious second-half Ole Miss rally.
Vanderbilt (15-6, 5-2) hit seven-of-eight free throws in the game's final 2:22.
The Commodores jumped out to a 44-29 halftime lead, and led the entire way with the exception of a brief 4-2 Rebel advantage.
Nine Commodores hit field goals, and Vandy shot 63 percent as a team during the half.
But Ole Miss (13-8, 2-5) stormed out of the locker room, scoring 31 points in the half's first 9:27, and took the lead when Clarence Sanders' 3 from the left corner gave the Rebels a 61-60 lead.
The game would stay tight the rest of the way.
Vandy took a 76-72 lead on Byars' layup from Ross Neltner, but back-to-back baskets by the Rebels' Todd Abernethy and Bam Doyne tied the game.
But Neltner hit both ends of a one-and-one at the 2:22 mark, and Vandy never trailed again.
Dan Cage (18 points), Shan Foster (14) and Neltner (10) helped Byars shoulder the scoring burden.
Ole Miss had six players score in double-figures, led by Bam Doynes' 22. Fifteen of Doynes' points game in the second half.
The four straight Southeastern Conference wins represent the longest streak by a Vandy team since the 1996-97 team won five in a row.
Vanderbilt's 5-2 record in conference play is its best start under head coach Kevin Stallings.