NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jermaine Beal scored 20 points, and Vanderbilt opened the Southeastern Conference/Big East Invitational by beating South Florida 71-52 Tuesday night to hand Commodores coach Kevin Stallings his 300th career victory.
"I thought our guys played really hard and I liked the effort we put forth on the backboards," said Stallings. "I thought we rebounded well, limited them to one shot and did a good job in our half-court defense. A big key for us was not allowing them to get the ball and get transition baskets."
A.J. Ogilvy added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Jeffery Taylor finished with nine as Vanderbilt (7-3) won its second straight. The Commodores grabbed the lead for good on a George Drake layup at 9-7 with 13:05 left in the first half and led 28-22 at halftime.
"The (game) was a lot of the young guys' first time playing on national TV," added Beal. "I think after we started out well, we came down and played more comfortably and more relaxed."
South Florida (3-5) lost its fourth straight game in the first of a four-game road trip.
Mobolaji Ajayi fouled out for South Florida with 14:13 left when he was called for his fourth foul, then slammed the ball to the court for a technical.
Dominique Jones led the Bulls with 19 points off the bench. Augustus Gilchrist added 12 and Mike Mercer had 10.