MBB tangles with South Carolina Saturday
Jan. 15, 2010
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Vanderbilt moved to 2-0 in SEC play with a dramatic, come-from-behind, 65-64 win over Alabama on Wednesday in Tuscaloosa. The Commodores, who trailed for most of the game, got a game-winning free throw from Jeffery Taylor with six seconds to go in regulation, and then survived a last-second attempt from Alabama's Anthony Brock to come away with the victory.
VU's ability to get to the free throw line was a main reason for the victory Wednesday, although Vanderbilt converted on only 20-of-37 shots from the charity stripe. Despite the percentage (54.1%), the Commodores still made more free throws than Alabama attempted, with junior center A.J. Ogilvy making 7-of-10 shots from the line, and Taylor making 5-of-9 at the charity stripe. Vanderbilt also limited its turnovers against a pressing defense from Alabama with eight - in the last two games, against two teams that like to press in Florida and Alabama, the Commodores have committed only 15 turnovers. The Commodores lead the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio as a team (1.7), with sophomore forward Andre Walker pacing the individual assist-to-turnover rankings with a 10.0 ratio in SEC competition.
Taylor leads four Commodores averaging in double figures with 14.0 points per contest. Ogilvy is next at 13.3 points per game, senior guard Jermaine Beal, who hit a big jumper down the stretch of the Alabama game, averages 13.2 points per game, and freshman sharpshooter John Jenkins adds 11.0 points per game.
Saturday's game at South Carolina is the second game in a stretch of games which has the Commodores on the road for four out of their first six games in SEC play. VU played at home against Florida to open league play, traveled to Alabama Wednesday, face South Carolina on Saturday in Columbia, returns home to face Auburn on January 23, then travels to Tennessee (January 27) and Kentucky (January 30) the following week.
Vanderbilt and South Carolina will meet for the 45th time Saturday, with the overall series tied at 22. The two teams split their two meetings last year, with each team winning on their home floor. However, Vanderbilt has won six out of their last seven against the Gamecocks, and three out of their last four games in Columbia.
South Carolina enters the game Saturday with an 11-5 overall record, 2-0 in SEC play, after knocking off LSU at home, 67-58, on Wednesday night.
Senior guard Devan Downey leads the Gamecocks in scoring with a 20.1 average, and a gawdy 31.0 points per game in two SEC games. Brandis Raley-Ross is next for the Gamecocks with a 10.8 scoring average. South Carolina is missing two prominent members from their team - Dominique Archie, who tore an ACL and is out for the season, and Mike Holmes, who transferred out of the program.
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