Vanderbilt tops UT-Martin, 92-85

NASHVILLE-- The Vanderbilt Commodores improved to 12-0 on Saturday with a 92-85 win over the University of Tennessee at Martin. The 12-0 start ties the school record for the best start, which was set by the 2003-2004 team.

Freshman center A.J. Ogilvy continued his hot start to the season by leading the Commodores in scoring with 21. The Commodores also got double-digit points from Shan Foster with 16 and Alex Gordon with 15. Ogilvy also led the Commodores in rebounds with 9.

The Commodores had a 12-point lead at halftime, but the Skyhawks came out of the break on a 10-0 run. Coach Kevin Stallings was not very happy with his team's performance at the beginning of the second half: "We relaxed at halftime. We don't have the habits to be a good defensive team right now. We'll talk about the season that could have been if we don't figure it out. Fortunately, we can score and I'd rather be able to score than not be able to. We know how to play when things get tight and I commend our guys for that."

Keegan Bell did just that. He hit three pointers on each of Vanderbilt's next two possessions to push the lead back to 8. Tennessee Martin's Gerald Robinson answered right back with a 5-0 run of his own.

Lester Hudson gave the Skyhawks their last lead of the game when he hit a three with 3:53 left in the second half. Foster still had confidence that the Commodores were still in control: "We feel that if the game is close, we're going to win. We don't like them close, but we've developed confidence when they are close, but by no means do we want to play games that close." Tennessee Martin's head coach Brett Robinson had this to say about the Commodores performance is close games: "When you win the close games like they have, it says a lot of their team. It's a compliment to them, the players and the staff. They seem to have an air about them when it gets close, and they obviously have a lot of confidence in that situation." Foster hit a three for the Commodores with 3:10 left to go to put the Commodores ahead for good.

The Skyhawks Hudson led all scorers with 36. Coach Stallings had some high praise for Hudson after the game: "I told our team yesterday that he'll be an NBA player. He's quite good. He's not the third leading score in the nation for nothing. He's capable of making a lot of baskets." Foster had this to say about Hudson's performance: "We tried to make it hard for him, and we got a few stops later. He's a good player...he shoots it well, puts it on the floor well. He's just a great player."

Robinson was the Skyhawks' second leading scorer with 25 points. He also had 9 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Commodores will attempt to set the school record with a 13-0 start on Monday when Iona travels to Memorial Gym. That New Year's Eve game tips off at noon.


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