Foster, Byars lead VU past Dayton, 63-60

DAYTON, OHIO-- Shan Foster scored 19 points and Derrick Byars added 14 as Vanderbilt rallied from a 5-point halftime deficit to defeat the Dayton Flyers, 63-60. Foster made 5 of 6 free throws in the game's final 15 seconds to seal the win for Vandy.

The Commodores tied the game at 50 with 6:39 remaining in the second half on a 3-point shot by Derrick Byars. Seconds later Shan Foster made another three-pointer to give Vanderbilt a 53-50 advantage.

Foster struck again for Vandy with 4:18 remaining to give the men from Nashville a 56-52 edge. A jump shot by Dayton's Brian Roberts cut the Vanderbilt lead to one with 2:59 remaining. A Byars field goal with 2:25 remaining put the Commodores back up by 3. For the next 2:11 there would be no scoring by either team.

Foster broke the scoring drought for Vandy with 14 seconds remaining when he hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Commodores a 59-55 lead. A Roberts lay up with 7 seconds remaining pulled the Flyers back to with 2 at 59-57.

Shan Foster made 2 more free throws with 6 seconds remaining to give Vandy a comfortable 4 point edge.

Brian Roberts made things uncomfortable again for Vandy when he nailed a 3-point shot with 2 seconds remaining to pull the Flyers back to within 1 at 61-60. Roberts led all scorers with 21 points. Foster then calmly sank 2 more free throws to put Vandy back up by 3 with 2 tenths of a second remaining.

After a Vanderbilt timeout the Commodores played inside and allowed the Flyers to take a 3-point shot. The official immediately ruled the shot illegal. Stallings explained after the game, "Either way, they really can't win. Zero-point-three seconds or under, it needs to be a tap. That's why I positioned our guys down there so Dayton couldn't get a `volleyball tap.' There's really not a good chance of them winning... so you don't tell him `miss the free throw but hit the rim.' I told him to make the free throw, because they can't get a shot off. With 0.3 seconds, the rule is very clear; it has to be a tap."

Vanderbilt had surged to a 10-3 in the first half before the Flyers stormed back to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room.

Stallings had shook up the Vanderbilt starting lineup by starting DeMarre Carroll and Shan Foster at the guard spots. However, senior point guard Mario Moore finished with 27 minutes playing time and started the second half, scoring 5 points and garnering 4 assists.

Other scorers for Vandy included DeMarre Carroll 11 and Julian Terrell 6. Ted Skuchas, Dan Cage, Alan Metcalfe and Alex Gordon all had 2 points each.

The win was Vanderbilt's fourth consecutive win since the home loss to Cincinnati on December 10. The Commodores will get another test when they travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on January 3.

Dayton fell to 8-6. The Flyers travel to Fordham on January 4. Top Stories