MBB opens New Year with trip to UMass

Jan. 2, 2009

TV: CBS College Sports   |   Radio: 104.5 FM   |   XM: None

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt men's basketball opens 2009 with its last non-conference game of the season when the Commodores travel to Amherst, Mass., to take on the Minutemen of UMass.

The game will be televised by CBS College Sports, and the contest can be heard on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network and VUcommodores.com, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the call.

The 'Dores won their fifth straight game with an 84-55 victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) Wednesday afternoon at Memorial Gym, behind a 17-point performance from junior guard Jermaine Beal.

Beal made 7-of-10 shots from the floor and made three 3-pointers in the game, his fourth consecutive three 3-point affair. The seven made field goals tied a career high for Desoto, Texas native.

The 'Dores never trailed in the game and scored their highest point total of the 2008-09 season en route to the 29-point victory. Vanderbilt shot 55.6 percent from the field, its second highest percentage of the season, and limited Saint Francis to only 37.7 percent from the floor, the 11th VU opponent to fail to crack the 40 percent barrier.

Vanderbilt only committed 10 turnovers in the game, its second straight contest with 10 or fewer turnovers. Rebounding was also a strength. The 'Dores outrebounded the Red Flash 37-21. VU's record when outrebounding its opponents moved to 10-0 with the victory Wednesday.

Brad Tinsley contributed 15 points, in addition to Beal's 17, while Jeffery Taylor added 13, and Lance Goulbourne scored 10. The Commodores were without the services of sophomore big man A.J. Ogilvy, who missed the game with a foot injury. Goulbourne led all players with eight rebounds on the day.

Vanderbilt and UMass will meet for only the second time in the history of the two schools. The Commodores took the first and only meeting on Jan. 5, 2008, at Memorial Gym, 97-88. The 97 points tied for the highest total for VU in 2007-08. Vanderbilt owns an 18-13 all-time record against the Atlantic 10.

Although Ogilvy missed the team's game against Saint Francis, he still leads a foursome averaging double figures with 16.7 points per game. Taylor averages 12.9 points, Beal chips in 11.9, and Tinsley contributes 10.5 points per game. Ogilvy leads all Commodores on the glass with 7.2 rebounds per tilt.

The Minutemen enter Saturday's contest with a 5-7 record under first-year head coach Derek Kellogg, a former standout player for UMass in the early to mid-1990's.

Ricky Harris is UMass' leading scorer, averaging 19.8 points per game. Anthony Gurley adds 12.3 points, Tony Gaffney chips in 11.4, and Chris Lowe averages 10.5 points per contest. Gaffney leads the Minutemen on the glass with 12.3 rebounds per game.

The Commodores only allow opponents to shoot 36.0 percent on the year, and only two opponents (VCU, UIC) have shot higher than 40 percent in a game. Vanderbilt has only allowed one opponent, UIC on Dec. 3, to score 70 points or more (74).

Six of Vanderbilt's opponents have failed to crack the 35 percent mark from the floor. In the latest NCAA rankings on Dec. 21, the Commodores were ranked 10th in the nation in field goal percentage defense at 36.0 percent and were ranked 43rd when it came to scoring defense (60.5). Vanderbilt ranks first in the SEC as of Jan. 1 in field goal percentage defense (.361).

Also, this Saturday's game against UMass will be head coach Kevin Stallings' 300th game on the Vanderbilt sideline. He has a career 180-119 record with the Commodores.



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