NASHVILLE, Tenn. - NASHVILLE, Tenn. - John Jenkins led three Commodores in double digits, as he scored 20 points in Vanderbilt's 77-40 defeat of Southern Indiana Monday evening at Memorial Gym.
In the opening minutes of the game, neither team could find their rhythm, with each committing several fouls and turnovers. Southern Indiana's C.J. Trotter scored with 14:42 on the clock to give the visiting team a 5-4 lead. Festus Ezeli put the Commodores back on top less than a minute later, and the home team would never trail for the remainder of the game.
Southern Indiana's Jared Rehmel tied the game at 16-16 with a layup with 5:37 remaining in the second half, but Vanderbilt's defense would not allow the visiting team to score for the remainder of the half, as the Commodores went on a 15-0 run to close out the half leading, 31-16.
"I certainly think the story of tonight was our defense," said head coach Kevin Stallings. "Even while our offense was really stagnant, our defense was really, really, really good. If you can play defense that way then that's a good thing. They're a better team, they played Illinois to a nine point game last week, and it might have been closer than that. I had absolutely no thoughts that our game would end up like this."
In the opening four minutes of the second half, Vanderbilt built up their lead to 39-16 as the Eagle's were unable to score.
Vanderbilt limited the Eagles to just 25.4% shooting from the field (15-59) for the game and only allowed one from beyond the arc on 17 attempts. The Commodores capitalized on Southern Indiana's turnovers, scoring 34 points on 30 takeaways.
Jeffery Taylor scored 13 points in the game and pulled down six rebounds. He also blocked two shots and handed out three assists. Brad Tinsley added 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting and made all four of his free throws.
The Commodores open up the regular season Friday evening against Presbyterian at 7 p.m.