Foster leads Vandy over UMass, 97-88

The Vanderbilt Commodores continued their early season roll with a 97-88 win over the Massachusetts Minutemen at Memorial Gym on Saturday. Shan Foster had 32 points in the win and was 8 for 12 from behind the three point line.

Massachusetts came into the game knowing they would need to contain Foster to beat the Commodores but were unable to do so. "Foster is the best player I've seen this year," UMass coach Travis Ford said. "He had 32 points, and we had a hand in his face on every shot." Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings had this to say about Foster's performance: "He's playing unbelievable right now. It's remarkable how he plays. He cramped up a bit in the second half. He's been doing this for four years and still doing it today. There's not a more devoted guy to the team than Shan. Shan is a team guy and it's nice to see those types of guys succeed."

The Commodores got off to a rough start in this one. They trailed by 14 when UMass Tony Gaffney hit a free throw with 9:28 to go in the first half. Foster hit a 3 on Vanderbilt's next possession to cut the lead back to 11. After a layup by UMass' Chris Lowe with 8:16 to go, Vanderbilt went on a 14-0 run, that was aided by a technical foul on Ford, to take their first lead of the game with 4:41 to go in the half. The two teams pretty much traded buckets for the rest of the half, and UMass went into the break with a 37-36 lead.

Vanderbilt showed in the second half why they have gotten through their non-conference schedule undefeated. UMass opened the second half on a 6-0 run but a layup by Ogilvy slowed down the UMass momentum.

Vanderbilt trailed 63-58 with 10:31 to go when Keegan Bell hit a 3 to bring the Commodores within two. After two Gary Forbes free throws for the Minutemen, Foster and Bell hit threes on Vanderbilt's next two possessions to give the Commodores a two point lead. The Commodores would not trail for the rest of the game.

Vanderbilt got 25 from Ogilvy and a career high 19 from Jermaine Beal. After not grabbing any rebounds in the first half, Ogilvy led the Commodores with 11 in the second half.

The Minutemen had three players with 20 or more points. Ricky Harris led them with 25 points, and Chris Lowe and Forbes each had 22 in the losing effort.

This was Vanderbilt's biggest win of the young season. "We're just happy about being able to finish our non-conference schedule undefeated and playing the type of basketball we're capable of. A lot of guys played really well for us today. Guys came off the bench - Keegan Bell, Darshawn McClellan, and George Drake. Those guys just came in and gave us lots of energy and played great for us," Foster said after the game.

The Commodores start their Southeastern Conference schedule on Wednesday night when the South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Memorial Gym. That game tips off a 7 p.m. Top Stories