Vanderbilt hosts Tennessee Tuesday
Feb. 8, 2010
The Commodores and Volunteers will meet for the 177th time Tuesday night and for the second time this season. Tennessee holds a 108-68 advantage in the all-time series, but Vanderbilt came away with an 85-76 win over the Volunteers in Knoxville earlier this year on January 27. Senior point guard Jermaine Beal carried the Commodores to the win with a 25-point performance, which tied a Vanderbilt individual best this season.
Beal has had a great start to conference play, averaging 17.4 points per game in the team's first eight SEC contests. He has scored 20 or more points three times in league play this year, including 21 points in Vanderbilt's most recent game, a 72-58 loss at Georgia on Saturday evening. Beal is shooting 47.9% from the floor in the eight games and 44.2% from three.
The Commodores struggled in their loss at Georgia, shooting only 32.8% from the floor and 26.1% from three in the game. It was Vanderbilt's second-lowest shooting percentage of the season - the Commodores shot only 27.5% against Cincinnati at the Maui Invitational on November 23. It was only the third game this season that VU has shot less than 40% and Vanderbilt has a 1-2 record in those games (only win was over Alabama).
Besides Beal's performance, Vanderbilt had a solid outing from sophomore shooting guard Brad Tinsley, who scored a season-high 18 points. Beal and Tinsley were 14-26 from the floor against the Bulldogs, while the rest of the team was only 5-for-35. Sophomore Jeffery Taylor and junior A.J. Ogilvy, who came into the game averaging double figures, could only muster eight and six points, respectively. Freshman sharpshooter John Jenkins was held to only one point and was 0-for-9 from the floor and 0-for-7 from three.
Beal leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per contest. Ogilvy is averaging 13.5 points per game, while Taylor (13.3) and Jenkins (10.4) also average double figures.
The Commodores are 11-0 so far this season at home, and have a 16-game home winning streak dating back to January 25, 2009 (loss to Florida). Additionally, 6-2 is the best start for a Vanderbilt team in league play since the 1992-93 season, when VU captured the SEC East title and advanced to the Sweet 16. The 1992-93 team finished the SEC campaign 14-2 that year.
Tennessee enters the game ranked as the 12th team in the nation and has a 18-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in SEC play. Tennessee has a three-game winning streak heading into Tuesday's game after defeating South Carolina in their most recent time out in Knoxville Saturday.
Scotty Hopson leads all Tennessee players in scoring with 13.2 points per game, while Wayne Chism adds 13.0 points per contest. Chism also leads the Vols on the glass with a 7.0 rebounding average.
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