5-0!! Sizzling Vandy dismantles Michigan, 83-63

NASHVILLE-- Vanderbilt put in its bid for a Top 25 ranking Saturday evening with a surprisingly easy 83-63 dismantling of Michigan. "There was a lot of pride on the line," said Scott Hundley, who scored 13 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. "No one is going to push us around in our house."

NASHVILLE-- Kevin Stallings said he walked into the Vanderbilt locker room following his team's 83-63 dismantling of Michigan Saturday night and found a team that was "not surprised."

Not surprised to be 5-0. Not surprised it had beaten Indiana and Michigan. Not surprised it had won every game by double-figures and has an average margin of victory of 20 points through five games.

"I could feel a very high level of confidence in that room," Stallings said. "It's OK if they were surprised about the big win, but I'm happy they're not. They thought that we played OK, they're glad we won and they're ready to move on."

"Moving on from here" could mean a 10-0 record heading to TCU if things continue as presently constituted. Vanderbilt's next five opponents must all have to venture into Memorial Gym, and not one of them boasts a major conference pedigree. Yes, on New Year's Eve, you should be toasting a 10-0 Vanderbilt squad that will be in the neighborhood of a Top 25 ranking.

Scott Hundley scored 13 points and pulled down 8 rebounds for the Commodores. (AP photo / Neil Brake)
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's revisit Saturday night, when an athletic Michigan team came to campus and was swamped on the boards by the more determined Commodores. The final rebounding tally was 42-24, but this stat may be even more telling: Vanderbilt had 17 offensive rebounds to Michigan's 15 defensive rebounds.

"That really attests to our effort," Stallings said. "Our players gave great effort tonight. Scott Hundley had five offensive rebounds - he's the reboundingest son-of-a-gun for a guy that is 6-4."

Yes, Scott Hundley. The guy led the bench brigade again with 13 points and 8 rebounds.

Said Stallings: "Scott Hundley has been terrific in every way. It is funny when guys get to be seniors. Scott Hundley is playing as close to his potential and as well as any player on our team."

Freije led all scorers with 22 points, but he left the game with 5:41 to play with what appeared to be a knee injury. He did not go to the locker room and appeared as though he could have returned if it were necessary, but his teammates had a comfortable lead and Freije enjoyed the rest of the game with the 12,817 other patrons.

Both Stallings and Freije said Freije left the game because of a cramp in his thigh, and both said his knee was OK.

Vanderbilt broke the game open for good with a 16-3 run in the second half, with six points coming courtesy of Hundley. The lead was 70-49 at the end of the run, and Vanderbilt was on its way to vanquishing its second Big Ten opponent of the season.

"There was a lot of pride on the line," Hundley said of paying back Indiana and Michigan for road losses last season. "No one is going to push us around in our house."


Bill Trocchi is the online editor at Athlon Sports.

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