NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball team had an advantageous start in their Tuesday evening exhibition game against the Chargers of the University of Alabama-Huntsville. The Commodores came out playing with authority and never looked back, besting the Chargers 91-56.
"We played hard and we tried hard. I thought we were too leery of their backdoor cuts and that's probably my fault. (UAH) looked a little nervous out of the gate and we jumped on them," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said.
The Commodores had four players in double digits, with sophomore Jeffery Taylor leading the pack with 19 points. Senior Jermaine Beal followed with 14, sophomore Brad Tinsley with 12, and sophomore Steve Tchiengang with 11. The Chargers were steered by guards Josh Magette and Josh Yost, with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Redshirt sophomore Andre Walker, returning to Memorial in his first appearance since battling an ACL injury last winter, shined defensively for the Commodores with nine rebounds, including seven that came in the first half.
Vanderbilt and UAH changed possession throughout the first minutes of the contest, but a Jeffery Taylor dunk at the 16:11 mark changed the momentum to the Commodores' favor.
Vanderbilt then proceeded to run up the scoreboard with 11 straight points, highlighted by a behind-the-back feed from Jeffery Taylor to fellow sophomore Brad Tinsley for an uncontested layup, and the first 3-pointer of the game from pure shooter freshman John Jenkins.
"I just came out and I was aggressive. I took what their defense gave me and it kind of set the tone on offense a little bit," stated Taylor.
Vanderbilt continued to build their first half lead with the solid offensive play of Tinsley, Taylor, and Jenkins. Taylor led all scorers with 12 points at the half, followed by Tinsley with nine.
"At halftime, Coach Stallings warned us about the pressure of a first half lead, but as a team we were kind of disappointed because we know that we have to have the same intensity for both halves," Beal said.
The Commodores and the Chargers traded baskets at the beginning of the second half, with UAH getting within 25 points of VU's lead. That was as close as the Chargers would get, as Vanderbilt pulled away for good with a Darshawn McClellan 3-pointer and held a 35 point lead for the rest of the second half.
"I was pleased with our effort. I was pleased with our ball movement. We took good care of the ball. All in all, it was a good night," Stallings noted.
The Commodores return to the friendly confines of Memorial Gym for their regular season opener on Monday, November 16th against cross-town foe, the Lipscomb University Bisons. Tipoff is set for 7pm.