Men's Hoops: Vandy makes quick exit

ATLANTA-- The Vanderbilt Commodores made a quick exit of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday when they fell to the LSU Tigers 69-62 in the first game. Vanderbilt was plagued by 23 turnovers and freshmen Antonio Hudson of LSU, who scored 24 points. The Commodores must now hope for an NIT bid.

LSU went on a 16-0 run early to take a 25-10 lead with 5 minutes remaining in the first half.   Vanderbilt then reeled off it's own run at 13-0 to close the gap at 25-23 at the half.  Senior Chuck Moore scored the last 10 points of that run for the Commodores.  Chuck went on to score 21 points in what could be his last game as a Commodore.

In the second half Vanderbilt took an early lead at 26-25 when Moore fired a 3-point shot.  The lead would be short lived though.  Vanderbilt's poor ball handling and cold shooting prevented any formidable move to take the lead.

Vanderbilt was able to get within 5 points at 67-62 on a Matt Freije steal and dunk with 20 seconds remaining but it was too little too late.    Matt scored 18 points for Vanderbilt, most of them coming in the second half.

A somber Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings had these words after the game, "We just didn't play very well offensively.  Defensively in the second half we broke down but we turned the ball over 23 times and on top of that missing what we thought were several good looks at the basket. We just weren't going to win the game.  We are a team that needs to shoot well.  Not only did we shoot poorly but we didn't take care of the ball. We are not going to win games if we have that combination going."  


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Vanderbilt shot just 7 of 25 from 3-point range for a paltry 28%.   The 'Dores weren't much better from field goal range, making just 37% of their shots.   The Commodores out rebounded the Tigers 36-27.

The youthful Vanderbilt team falls to 16-14 with the loss and now must hope for an NIT bid. The NIT announces it's field Monday night.


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