Vanderbilt rips LSU with 2nd half run, 90-69

BATON ROUGE—Lance Goulbourne scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds as Vanderbilt vaulted past LSU, 90-69. Trailing at the half, the Commodores notched the victory by outscoring the Tigers 49-26 in the second stanza.

Trailing 43-41 at the half, Vanderbilt outscored the Tigers 14-2 in the first four minutes of the second half. After an LSU basket to put the Tigers up by 4, Vandy's Festus Ezeli tipped in a missed John Jenkins shot to start the Commodore run. A Goulbourne layup followed by a Jeffery Taylor dunk put Vanderbilt up 49-45 with 17:47 to play. Another dunk by Taylor finished the opening Vandy run and put the No. 18 ranked visitors in control, 55-45.

LSU would not go down quietly. Storm Warren's layup pulled the Tigers back to within three with 12:49 to go. However, Vanderbilt scored nine straight points to pull ahead 68-56 on a Jenkins 3-pointer with 11 minutes to play. After that point the Commodores' lead would never be fewer than nine.

Free throws by Taylor brought the Vandy lead to 73-59 with 8:36 to play. Taylor finished with 20 points to lead the Commodores. Brad Tinsley's jumper extended the Vanderbilt lead to 16 with just over six minutes remaining. Tinsley, who finished with 16 points, made a layup with 3:22 to go that put his team on top, 87-66, and prompted Commodore head coach Kevin Stallings to empty his bench. Jordan Smart, who rarely sees action in SEC contests, made a 3-pointer with 1:26 to play giving Vandy its biggest lead of the game, 90-66.

Goulbourne, who had struggled the past few games because of an ankle sprain, seems to have finally recovered from the injury. Stallings was happy to see his junior workhorse return to his earlier form.

"Lance all of the sudden went back to being the Lance before his ankle injury and he was rebounding the ball up at the top of the square where nobody else can get to it," said Stallings. "That was the difference for us in the game. We just played much more aggressively especially in the second half."

In the first half the Commodores struggled defensively at stopping the Tigers. Goulbourne felt that Vandy's increased defensive intensity was a key to his team picking up the important road victory.

"We went back in the locker room and coach wasn't too happy with our defensive effort," said Goulbourne. "We made some defensive changes. Storm Warren and Ralston Turner were killing us so we had to get them shut down, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that in the second half."

Warren and Turner combined for 32 points in the first half but in the second half were limited to a collective effort of only 10 points. Warren finished with 24 points leading all scorers.

Vanderbilt improved to 21-7 (9-5 SEC). Next up for Vandy is a pivotal trip to Lexington on Tuesday to face No. 22 Kentucky. LSU falls to 11-18 (3-11 SEC). The Tigers will visit Georgia on Wednesday. The Commodores now lead their all-time series with the Tigers, 58-48, but still trail 21-28 in games played in Baton Rouge.

Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins, left, drives past LSU guard Chris Bass (4) and forward Storm Warren, background, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. Jenkins contributed 17 points to Vanderbilt's 90-69 win over LSU. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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