CANCUN - Vanderbilt sophomore A.J. Ogilvy scored 25 points to lead four Commodore players in double figures in route to a 71-66 win over VCU in the finals of the Cancun Challenge at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico. Ogilvy was named the tournament's MVP, and junior guard Jermaine Beal was named to the Cancun Challenge All-Tournament team.
Sunday's win marked the second consecutive Thanksgiving tournament title for the Commodores. Vanderbilt captured the South Padre Island Invitational in 2007 with wins over Utah State and Bradley.
The Commodores led for most of the contest, but VCU made the game interesting in the second half behind their frenzied defense and clutch shooting Ram guard Eric Maynor, who ended the game with 31 points, 23 of those in the second half. Vanderbilt, who saw its lead balloon to as many as 18 early in the second half, struggled with the quickness of the VCU guards in the period, and had its lead cut to one, 48-47, with 11:11 to play in the game. VU responded and pushed its lead back up to seven, but once again VCU came back, this time cutting the deficit to two points with 1:19 to play in regulation.
Free throw shooting, a strong point for the Commodores in the tournament, came through again in the waning moments, as Beal knocked down two shots and sophomore forward Darshawn McClellan made one-of-two with 30 seconds remaining to give VU the winning margin of 71-66. On the night, Vanderbilt was 26-for-30 from the charity stripe (86.7%).
Ogilvy ended the night with 25 points and seven rebounds, and included in his total were two three-point shots from the top of the key. Ogilvy played 30 minutes and was 11-for-16 from the floor overall. Beal scored 14 points and added six assists, while freshman Brad Tinsley continued his double-digit streak with 13 points in 37 minutes of action. Freshman forward Jeffery Taylor also added double figures with 10 points.
VCU's Maynor led all scorers with 31 points. Ram forward Larry Sanders was the only other VCU scorer in double figures with 10.
Vanderbilt returns home for a game with the UIC Flames Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.