Men's Hoops: UT wins after VU rally falls short

The Vanderbilt Commodores fell to the Tennessee Vols after a rally fell just short, 67-65, in a game played at Memorial Gym on Saturday.

Vandy appeared out manned from the start, falling behind 39-22 by half time. 

Vincent Yarbrough riddled the 'Dores early, hitting 3 of 4 from 3-point range and 5 of 6 from the field for 13 first half points.  Vandy, as a team, was ice cold, hitting just 27% from the field and 30% from the 3-point range.  The one bright spot for Vandy in the first half was senior Sam Howard.  Howard nailed 3 of 4 from three point land managing 9 first half points. 

In the second half head coach Kevin Stallings adjusted his lineup by giving Corey Smith and Scott Hundley ample playing time in place of ice cold Jason Holwerda and Matt Freije.

For the first nine minutes of the second half the Vols maintained their lead and extended it to as much as 20 points with 11:13 remaining.  A three-point play by Corey Smith started the rally and cut the lead to 15 at 52-37 with 9:32 remaining in the game. 

Brendan Plavich drilled a 3-point shot and moments later made two free-throws to cut the lead to 12 at 54-42 with 7:55 remaining. Plavich would go on to finish with 12 points.

With 5:12 remaining, Corey Smith scored to cut the lead to 8 at 58-50.

Plavich added another 3-point shot with 4:08 remaining to reduce the lead to 6 at 61-55.  A minute later, sophomore Scott Hundley scored on a jumper to narrow the lead to just 4 at 61-57.

After the Vols Marcus Haislip missed a lay up, Chuck Moore drilled a 3-pointer to cut the lead to just 2 with 33 seconds remaining.

The Vols Jenis Grindstaff missed the second of two free throws to give UT a 65-62 lead with just 31 seconds remaining.  Chuck Moore then drilled another 3-pointer, this time with hands in his face, to tie the game at 65 with just 18 seconds remaining.

The Volunteers scurried down the court and sliced through the Vandy defense.  Vincent Yarbrough scored the winning basket for the men in orange with just 4 seconds remaining in the inner state battle.

With 1 second remaining, Chuck Moore lofted a 22 foot shot which just barely rimmed out the cylinder, sealing the Vols win. After the game Moore said of the shot, "I was going so fast, I really couldn¹t come to a complete stop. It looked good to me, but it was in and then it was out."

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings was grim after the game, despite the rally, and had this to say: "We're bitterly disappointed, and we've got no one to blame but ourselves. We didn't play well in the first half and they did. We played a little better in the second half, but it wasn't enough."

Vanderbilt falls to 13-8, 3-5 SEC with the loss.  Tennessee improves to 11-10, 4-4 SEC with the win. 

Commodores Daily Top Stories