Wake Forest (4-0) exploited Vanderbilt's inability to stop drives to the basket by using the Smith to slash through Commodore defenders. Vanderbilt's inside game suffered a major blow when Alan Metcalfe was injured and Ted Skuchas picked up 3 first half fouls.
Wake Forest quickly rallied to take control before the half. A 3-pointer by Skeen extended Wake's lead to 10 at 39-29 with just over 3 minutes remaining in the half. Skeen was red hot from behind the arc, hitting 3 of 4. The Demon Deacons would lead by as much as 12 in the first half. A Byars 3-pointer made the halftime score Wake Forest 47 Vanderbilt 38. Byars finished the game with 18.
Offensively Vanderbilt played even with Wake in the second half. However, the Commodores could not make enough defensive stops to cut into Wake's lead. The closest Vanderbilt would get to the Deacons was at 7 with just over 4 minutes remaining.
"We doomed ourselves by our foul trouble in the first half. We are playing 5 guys together out on the court that had never been together in practice because we are so inundated with foul trouble. It wasn't bad officiating, it was their penetration, it was our lack of discipline. . . it was self inflicted," said a somber Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings.
Other Vanderbilt scorers for included Shan Foster, 23; Alan Metcalfe 5; Ross Neltner 6; Alex Gordon 15; Dan Cage 3; JeJuan Brown 6 and Ted Skuchas 2. Vanderbilt was out rebounded by Wake Forest 45-36.
Vanderbilt hosts Elon on Saturday.