The Vanderbilt Commodores return home after a two-game road trip to take on the SEC East Division leading South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday evening. The game tips off at 8 p.m. CT, and can be seen live on ESPNU. The action can be heard live on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network and vucommodores.com, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on the call. With Vanderbilt students away on spring break, there are tickets remaining in the student section for $24. Call 615-322-GOLD or visit www.vucommodores.com for tickets.
The Commodores and Gamecocks will meet for the second time this season - South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt, 86-76, in Columbia on January 28. Jeffery Taylor led four Commodore players in double figures with 23 points; George Drake scored a career-high 18 points, Brad Tinsley tallied 15 points, and Jermaine Beal added 13 in a balanced scoring effort. Sophomore big man A.J. Ogilvy scored only three points in the first matchup, his lowest total of his collegiate career - Ogilvy was battling a heel injury and an upper respitory illness at the time. The difference in the game was turnovers - South Carolina forced Vanderbilt into 22 turnovers, and converted those in to 25 points, compared to only five points off of turnovers for the Commodores. Devan Downey led South Carolina with 18 points.
Vanderbilt and South Carolina will meet for the 44th time Saturday afternoon, with the Gamecocks holding a narrow lead in the overall series, 22-21. Vanderbilt leads 11-9 all-time against South Carolina in Nashville. Commodore head coach Kevin Stallings is 9-12 against South Carolina as Vanderbilt’s head coach, and has won five out of the last six meetings with the Gamecocks.
Vanderbilt fell to 16-11 overall, 5-8 in league play after dropping a 61-57 decision to Georgia in Athens on Wednesday night. The Commodores shot a season-worst 31.6% from the field and tied a season low with 16 made field goals. Ogilvy led the Commodores with 12 points. Tinsley and Beal each added 11 points for the Commodores.
Ogilvy leads the Commodores in scoring on the 2008-09 season at 14.7 points per game. Beal adds 12.1 points per game, and Taylor chips in 11.9 points per contest. Tinsley also averages double digits with 10.5 points per contest. Ogilvy leads all VU players on the glass with 7.0 rebounds per game. Taylor pulls down 6.2 rebounds per contest and is second on the team behind Ogilvy.
South Carolina enters the game with a 20-6 overall record, 9-4 in league play, after knocking off Kentucky, 77-59, Wednesday night in Columbia. The Gamecocks lead the SEC East division by one game, and feature one of the conference’s top players in junior guard Devan Downey, who averages 20.1 points per game. Fellow guard Zam Fredrick adds 15.3 points per contest, while forwards Dominique Archie (11.5) and Mike Holmes (10.9) also average double digits.