Vanderbilt wins fifth straight

NASHVILLE- Vanderbilt continued its stunning early season turnaround on Saturday night when the Commodores blasted out manned Nicholls State, 76-40. Newcomers, Jermaine Beal and Ross Neltner each scored 15 points to lead Vandy to its fifth straight victory after a horrendous 1-3 start.

Vanderbilt used a stifling defense to notch another non-conference victory. The Commodores garnered 15 steals and 23 total turnovers from Nicholls State. A three-point shot by Dan Cage put Vanderbilt up 11-2 just 5:50 into the game. Shan Foster's three-pointer with 8:30 remaining in the half gave the Commodores an impressive 27-5 edge.

A three-point shot by Stefan Blaszczynski with 6:59 remaining in the half ended an over 7 minute scoring drought by the Colonels. Blaszczynski would go on to lead all scorers with 19.

Vanderbilt emptied the its bench in the second half but still continued the dismantling of the Colonels. The lead reached 50-16 with 14:10 remaining in the game on a lay-up by JeJuan Brown. The Commodores achieved their largest lead of the game at 41 with 4:06 remaining when Brown struck again, this time with a short jumper to make it 71-30. Brown finished with 8 points.

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was pleased with the Commodores defensive performance, "We have to be able to win from both ends of the floor. We definitely had to get better defensively to win some games. Our shooting has been a little spotty. If our defense continues to become consistent, it gives us a chance to win on nights where we don't shoot very well. Your defense can provide stability in case you don't shoot well," commented Stallings.

Vanderbilt improves to 6-3 with the win. The Commodores leave Sunday for the San Juan Shootout, December 19-21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Vanderbilt plays host Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Tuesday at 9 a.m. CT. Other teams participating in the three-day tournament include Tennessee Tech, Northwestern, Utah, Central Florida, Virginia and Appalachian State. Nicholls State falls to 1-12 and travels to Louisiana-Monroe on December 28.


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