MBB opens SEC play against Florida
Jan. 8, 2010
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Vanderbilt has won five consecutive games heading into Saturday's game, and most recently knocked off Middle Tennessee State, 73-53, on Monday night. Sophomore forward Jeffery Taylor led five Vanderbilt players in double figures with 14 points. Freshman John Jenkins scored 13, Jermaine Beal added 11, and A.J. Ogilvy and Festus Ezeli each scored 10 points apiece in the Commodore win. Ezeli and Ogilvy also combined for five blocked shots.
The Commodores once again had a stellar defensive performance, limiting MTSU to only 37.5% from the floor and 21.1% from three. Defense is a continuing trend for Vanderbilt - the Commodores have limited opponents to a 55.4 scoring average and a .317 shooting percentage in their last five games. VU's inside presence has also been felt as of late. In the last three games, Vanderbilt has blocked ten shots in each game.
Taylor leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, respectively. Senior Jermaine Beal adds 12.7 points per game, and Ogilvy chips in 12.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest. Jenkins has also cracked the double-digit barrier in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game. The freshman from Gallatin, Tenn., has averaged 15.4 points per game in his last five games.
Vanderbilt and Florida will meet for the 118th time on Saturday morning, with the Commodores holding a slim, 61-56, advantage in the series. Florida swept both meetings last year, and has won 10 out of the last 13 games played between the two teams. Vanderbilt does own a 39-13 series advantage in games played in Nashville.
Florida enters the game with an 11-3 record and receiviing votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today poll. The Gators have won three straight, including a 62-61 overtime win over N.C. State on January 3.
Freshman guard Kenny Boynton leads five Gators in double figures with 13.6 points per game. Alex Tyus (11.7), Chandler Parsons (11.4), Erving Walker (10.7), and Vernon Macklin (10.6) also average double figures for Florida. Tyus leads the Gators on the glass with 6.9 rebounds per game.
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