Late three dooms 'Dores, 74-71

SAN JUAN, P.R.-- Casey Mitchell made a 3-point shot with 3 seconds remaining to lift West Virginia over Vanderbilt, 74-71. The Commodores' Rod Odom had an open 3-point shot at the buzzer but missed and Vanderbilt picked up the first loss of the 2010-11 season.

"We got a relatively clean look at the basket," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "When they know you've got to shoot a three, it shrinks up the court on you. If you only have to shoot a two there, now you've got the benefit of the whole court and it's a little bit easier. We had to have three and I did a poor job in that timeout. I had a play that would have worked and I got talked out of it, so that's my fault."

Four times in the second half Vanderbilt was able to tie the score and each time they were unable to pull ahead of the Mountaineers. Vanderbilt, which trailed at the half 44-33, first tied the score at 52 on a free throw by Brad Tinsley with 9:54 to go. However, WVU quickly regained the lead off a Deniz Kilicli jumper. After a Rod Odom layup re-tied the score at 54, the Mountaineers went on a 12-1 run to take a 66-55 lead with 5:19 to go.

A John Jenkins 3-pointer with 2:01 to play tied the score again at 68. However, again Vanderbilt was unable to take the lead and the Mountaineers pulled ahead again by two on free throws by John Flowers. Free throws by Brad Tinsley tied the score for the final time at 71 with 33 seconds to go. West Virginia allowed the clock to wind down before getting into their offense. Suddenly Vanderbilt changed their defensive scheme to a 2-3 zone, however, no Commodore covered Mitchell who was able to take a wide open shot to win WVU the game.

"We should have had him [Mitchell] covered on that last play," said Stallings after the game. "There was no reason for him to have gotten that shot on the last play. We just missed coverage didn't do what we we're coached to do. But he still had to make the shot and he did."

Vanderbilt took an early lead in the first half but several questionable calls on Jeffery Taylor and Festus Ezeli took those players out of the game. Less than three minutes into the game a technical foul was called on Vanderbilt's Stallings. Suddenly a 6-3 Vanderbilt lead turned into an 8-6 West Virginia lead. The Mountaineers went on to lead by as much as 12 in the first half.

Vanderbilt was led in scoring by Jenkins with 27, Odom had 12 and Tinsley 10. The Mountaineers were led in scoring by Mitchell who had 31.

On Sunday Vanderbilt (1-1) will play North Carolina at 4:30 p.m. CT. That game will be televised on ESPNU.

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