Vanderbilt romps past Southern Indiana, 77-40

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt struggled early against division II power Southern Indiana but a 15-0 run at the end first half led by John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor sparked the Commodores to a 77-40 victory over the Screaming Eagles.

In a sloppy early first half Vanderbilt and Southern Indiana traded fouls, turnovers and even a few baskets. Vanderbilt got on the board first with a bucket by Brad Tinsley less than two minutes into the game. USI quickly tied the game on a basket by C.J. Trotter. Neither team led by more than 3 point until a Lance Goulbourne basket put Vandy up 9-5 with 11:40 to go before the break. It looked like Vandy was going to run away with it early when Jeffery Taylor dunked home a score off a fast break to put VU up 12-7 at the 10 minute mark. However, USI battled back and was able to tie the game at 16 on a basket by Jared Rehmel with 5:35 left. That's when Tinsley and Jenkins went to work.

After two Tinsley free throws followed by a Tinsley steal and dunk, Vanderbilt suddenly led 20-16 with 5 minutes to go in the half. Jenkins then canned the first 3-point shot of the game for Vandy and then made two free throws after picking up a defensive rebound on USI's ensuing possession to put the 'Dores up 25-16 with four to go.

Steven Tchiengang scored on a jumper with under two minutes to go and then Rod Odom scored a layup to put the Commodores up 29-16 with under a minute left in the half. Tinsley then made a jumper with just four seconds remaining to put Vandy up comfortably at the half, 31-16.

In the second half Southern Indiana never mounted a threat. The Commodores quickly built their lead to 21 on another Jenkins jump shot. After Southern Indiana cut the VU lead to 15 on a dunk by Mohamed Ntumba with 15 and a half minutes to go, Vanderbilt went on a 13-2 run to take a 54-28 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining. Vandy's lead bulged to the biggest of the night when James Siakam scored a layup to put the Commodores up by 39 with under a minute to play.

After the game Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was pleased with his team's defense that forced 30 Southern Indiana turnovers.

"If you can play defense that way then that's a good thing," said Stallings. "They're a better team, they played Illinois to a 9 point game last week, and it might have been closer than that. I had absolutely no thoughts that our game would end up like this."

Vanderbilt struggled somewhat shooting and made just 37 percent of their shots from the field. The Commodores were led in scoring by Jenkins with 20 and Taylor with 13. Tinsley added 10. Jenkins made 4-of-8 from 3-point range. Trotter led Southern Indiana with 10.

Vanderbilt flooded the court with reserves late in the game. Probably the loudest applause of the night was when Joe Duffy made a three point shot with two minutes to go.

The win wrapped up the Commodores' exhibition schedule. Vanderbilt will open its regular season on Friday night against Presbyterian. Top Stories