Vandy pounds Alabama A&M, 86-47

NASHVILLE-- Derrick Byars scored 20 and Jermaine Beal added 14 as Vanderbilt romped over Alabama A&M, 86-47. The win was Vanderbilt's eighth in the last nine games since a horrendous 1-3 record to start the season.

In the first half the Commodores, propelled by a Shan Foster 3-point shot and Ross Neltner free throw, raced out to an early 4-0 lead over Alabama A&M.

Leading 12-7 with 14:44 remaining in the half, Vanderbilt then erupted on a 16-0 run that extended their lead to 28-7 with 8:50 remaining in the half. Vandy then marched on to a 45-24 halftime lead.

In the second half Vanderbilt erupted on a quick 11-0 run that put the Commodores ahead 56-24 just 1:58 into the half. The lead reached 35, at 76-41, on a Shan Foster jumper with 7:38 remaining in the game. Foster finished with 12 points for Vanderbilt.

A Jermaine Beal basket put Vandy up by 40 with 4:49 remaining. The Vanderbilt staff then emptied its bench as the Commodores cruised to victory. David Rodriguez, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomore walk-on guard saw his first action as a Commodore but did not score.

The Commodores dominated in the rebounding department, grabbing 46 boards to just 28 for Alabama A&M. Senior Dan Cage led Vanderbilt with 7 rebounds. Cage also made 3 of 4 3-point shots and scored 11 points for Vandy.

Commodore head coach Kevin Stallings was pleased with the rebounding effort after the game, "I like how we rebounded tonight. I like how we defended and I thought we took good care of the ball until the final two minutes of the game. We were pretty inspired and played hard throughout the game. Our effort on the backboards was considerably better," commented Stallings.

Vanderbilt improved to 9-4 with the win and 4-0 in the all time series versus Alabama A&M. The Commodores next travel to Houston, Texas to face the Rice Owls on Tuesday night. Alabama A&M falls to 5-6 and will next face Grambling on Tuesday.

Alabama A&M guard Trant Simpson, right, finds his path blocked by Vanderbilt's JeJuan Brown, left, Ted Skuchas (54) and Shan Faster (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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