The ‘Dores took a two game losing skid into the game against Texas A&M in Nashville, and were again facing the prospect of the season tail spinning out of control. It was a battle between two middle of the pack SEC squads, each knowing the other was beatable, and each knowing that a run to end the season would be vital for any SEC Tournament aspirations they may have.
Let's get one thing out of the way early. Vanderbilt had no right winning this game. The ‘Dores fell down 10-0 early against a team shooting over 47 percent from behind the arc, as you can probably guess you do not pull out many victories when facing that scenario. To make things even worse Rod Odom, one of the shining lights for Vanderbilt all season, was having a rare off day where he just could not get anything to fall.
Odom started the game 0-for-7, and finished it going 3-for-18 (16%), numbers that in any other situation would probably have got him benched. As anyone who has watched Vandy play this season knows though the ‘Dores basically have no bench, so Odom was left out there to figure things out and will his shot to fall.
So, with five seconds remaining in regulation, and only after a ridiculous series of events which saw a Vandy dunk immediately followed by a held ball giving the ‘Dores possession with five seconds to play, the outcome of the game hung on the shot of a guy who had spent the game laying bricks. This was no uncontested layup line finish either, Odom hit a two which was so deep that the officials had to check to be sure it was not a three point game winner.
It was the togetherness of this team that allowed this win to happen. Sure, you can look at the fact that A&M only shot 45 percent from the foul line, but even with that the ‘Dores had no shot to win. When the ball came to Odom with five seconds left you could feel that despite his troubles to that point the whole team still believed in his ability to make that shot.
That is what happens when you play shorthanded all year. You grow together into a team who no one will want to face come tournament time.
'Dores find a way to win yet again
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