Dec. 29, 2009
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Vanderbilt and Manhattan will meet for the second time in the series history between the two schools on Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. The game tips off at 7 p.m. CT, with the action airing live on the Vanderbilt-ISP Radio Network and vucommodores.com, with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson courtside calling all of the action. There will be no network TV for the contest.
Vanderbilt returns to the court after a nine-day holiday break to take on the Jaspers. The Commodores are coming off of a 99-59 victory over Mercer in their last time out on December 21 - VU's highest scoring game of the 2009-10 campaign. Vanderbilt converted on 60.3% of its shots from the floor (35-58), and made 12 of its 21 attempts from three-point land (57.1%). On the defensive end, VU played one of its better games of the season, limiting the Bears to only 31.5% (17-54) from the field and 22.2% from three (6-27), while also holding one of the nation's leading scorers, Mercer guard James Florence, to only 10 points, 13 below his average.
Freshman John Jenkins scored a career-high 17 points to lead a host of Vanderbilt players in double figures. Senior guard Jermaine Beal added 15 points, sophomore guard Brad Tinsley contributed 14 points, sophomore forward Jeffery Taylor scored 13 points, and junior center A.J. Ogilvy chipped in 11 points for the Commodores. It was the first time VU had five players reach double figures in scoring since Jan. 19, 2008 against LSU.
Vanderbilt's offense has taken off in its last two games, averaging 91.5 points per game in the two wins over Tennessee State and Mercer. The Commodores are shooting 64.0% from the floor (71-111) and 51.4% from three (18-35). VU has a scoring margin of +26.5 in their last two games.
Taylor leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, respectively. Beal adds 13.0 points per game, and Ogilvy chips in 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Wednesday's meeting with Manhattan will be the second all-time between the two schools. The only other meeting came in the finals of the Music City Classic at Memorial Gym on December 28, 1982, a game VU won, 85-71.
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings, who won his 300th career game as a head coach last season, is now only one win shy of surpassing Bob Polk's mark of 197 wins, which is second all-time on the VU coaching list. Stallings is now tied with Polk with has 197 career Vanderbilt wins.
Now in his 17th season as a head coach, Stallings has the third most wins in the SEC among current coaches (Bruce Pearl, Billy Donovan) and 197 in his 11-year career at Vanderbilt. Stallings trails only Roy Skinner (278; 159, 1962-76) on the all-time Vanderbilt coaching wins list.