Next Home Game: Thursday, Nov. 29, vs. South Alabama at 7 p.m. CT - 322-GOLD
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - A.J. Ogilvy scored 23 points to lead four Vanderbilt double digit scorers in Vanderbilt's 95-86 win over Bradley in the finals of the South Padre Island Invitational Saturday evening at the South Padre Island Convention Center. Shan Foster, who added 22 points for Vanderbilt in the win over the Braves, was named the tournament's MVP, with Ogilvy and sophomore guard Jermaine Beal joining Foster on the All-Tournament team.
With the win, Vanderbilt improves to 5-0 on the season, while the Braves drop to 4-2 on the year.
The Commodores led from the opening tip, and heading into the half, Vanderbilt held a comfortable 53-35 lead. VU's lead, which had ballooned to as many as 24 with 1:33 to go in the first half, quickly evaporated in the second half, as the Braves chipped away at Vanderbilt's lead, and closed the gap to one point with 2:40 to play on a Theron Wilson layup to make the score 85-84 in favor of the Commodores.
After Foster missed a three on VU's next possession, and senior forward Ross Neltner missed the put back, Bradley's Andrew Warren had a good look at a three but his chance rimmed out, and after another empty Vanderbilt possession, the Braves' leading scorer, Daniel Ruffin, missed a jumper to give Bradley the lead. Alex Gordon then made a jumper in the paint to push the Vanderbilt lead to three, 87-84.
On the ensuing Braves possession, Ruffin missed a three, and after an offensive rebound by Jeremy Crouch, Warren saw his game-tying three-point attempt rim out. Gordon grabbed the defensive rebound, and on his charge down the court, was intentionally fouled by Wilson. Gordon made both free throws, and the Commodores converted on their next six charity stripe opportunities to close out the Braves.
"We came out offensively very strong, and we played very well in the first half," said Foster. "It got away from us a little in the second half, but we got it together to come away with the win."
Bradley capitalized on 13 second-half turnovers to get back into the game and made ten threes in the closing stanza at a 41.7% clip (10-24), while also converting on 51.4% of its shots from the floor in the half.
Vanderbilt had its free throw shooting stroke working in the key statistic of the championship game, knocking down 28 of 31 shots, a 90.3% clip. Also, the Commodores attempted and made 22 more free throws than the Braves.
The Commodores also continued its hot shooting from the floor, making 51.7% of its shots for the game.
Ogilvy led all Vanderbilt scorers with 23 points, with Foster chipping in 22. Beal added 13 points, and Alex Gordon tallied 10 points in the winning effort.
Ruffin led Bradley with 23 points. Andrew Warren was the only other Braves scorer in double figures with 18 points.
Vanderbilt returns home to take on South Alabama at 7 p.m. Thursday night. The game can be seen live on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast.