Metcalfe, Bell answer the call

Last night things were looking bleak for the Vanderbilt Commodores in Chicago. Vandy's sparkling undefeated record was in danger of getting an ugly blemish. The Commodores trailed much of the first half and fell behind by as many as 18 in the second half. That's when two backups took charge and gave the Commodores a chance to pick up their tenth win of the season.

DePaul lead was mounting and Commodore star A.J. Ogilvy was piling up the fouls. Head coach Kevin Stallings looked down to his bench for help and a pair of fighters answered the call. Vanderbilt reserves combined to outscore the DePaul reserves 34-12. Senior post Alan Metcalfe and point guard Keegan Bell combined to score 30 of those 34 points.

Bell made his first appearance early in the game when the Commodores were trailing, 7-5. A quick Bell 3-pointer briefly gave Vanderbilt back the lead at 8-7. Later, when DePaul had built its lead to 33-14 with four minutes remaining in the first half, Bell struck again from behind the arc to keep the game manageable for the Commodores. Bell would go on to score 12 points, all 3-pointers, and dish out an impressive 8 assists. The true freshman did all this with just 20 minutes of floor time.

Metcalfe, like Bell, also went on a 3-point shooting barrage. The big Englishman made one 3-pointer in the first half and then added two more in the second half for good measure. Metcalfe also contributed four 2-point field goals from close range to boost Vanderbilt cause.

After the game Stallings recognized the lift that Bell and Metcalfe gave their team, "In the second half, we got a good lift from the bench. Keegan came in and played solid for us, and Alan really picked it up for us." However, it should be noted that the Vanderbilt bench scored over half of the Commodore's first half points (16 of 30). While the second half rally was more noticeable and impressive, Bell and Metcalfe and their fellow reserves helped keep the game from getting totally out of hand in the first half.

The 2007-08 Commodore basketball edition, picked by the experts to finish as low as fourth in the SEC East, is turning out to be a talented and deep unit. Vandy fans can take comfort in knowing that down the road, in places like Lexington, Knoxville and Athens, when things get rough guys Metcalfe and Bell along with George Drake, Darshawn McClellan, and Andre Walker are waiting to fill the void.

10-day break Vanderbilt has 10 days to enjoy its perfect 10-0 record. The Commodores will next host local rival Tennessee State on December 22nd at 8 p.m. That game will be televised on CSS.


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