Vanderbilt falls to Tennessee, 80-60

KNOXVILLE-- The Vanderbilt Commodores lost their second straight Southeastern Conference game on Thursday night, falling 80-60 to the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.

The Commodores had their worst shooting night of the season shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from behind the three point line. The Commodores were only able to connect on 3 of their 21 three point attempts. They entered the game averaging 9.29 threes per game.

Turnovers have haunted the Commodores all season long, and Thursday's night game was no exception as they finished the game with 21 turnovers. Coach Kevin Stallings had this to say about his team's poor play after the game: "That was not a lot of fun. Games are intended to be fun, and we just didn't give ourselves a chance. We had some opportunities to make it interesting, but each time we missed the shot. In any event, they played better than we did; they deserved to win.

"They were faster to the ball, and we have got key guys that have to perform well for us to have a chance in an environment like this, in a game like this. Some of our better guys were not having their better nights. It is pretty predictable that it could be this kind of result. And that had something to do with them. They did some things defensively that were problems.

"It looked like a game from last year, where we had no inside presence, particularly in the first half. They push up on the perimeter and the shots are a lot harder because they are really into you. The thing we have had going for us this year is an inside presence. The defense was forced to collapse a little bit, and we have a number of guys who can make them. We did not get a great night out of our team in post offense, so that made it a lot harder for us on the perimeter."

After trailing by 13 at the half the Commodores were able to cut the Volunteers lead to 8 with 16:49 left in the game on two free throws by Jermaine Beal. The Commodores' momentum was quickly shut down when the Volunteers went on a 19-6 run that was capped by a Chris Lofton three with 11:27 left to go.

The Commodores refused to just roll over and die. They put together a 15-2 run that was capped by a Shan Foster three to cut the Volunteers lead to 8. That run was quickly answered by the Volunteers when Tyler Smith got a steal and turned it into a dunk on the other end of the floor. That play was the nail in the Commodores' coffin.

Shan Foster's 14 points led the Commodores. A.J. Ogilvy, who struggled in the first half, had a strong second half and finished the game with 12 points.

Wayne Chism led the Volunteers with 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. JaJuan Smith and Tyler Smith both scored 14 points and Chris Lofton added 11.

The Commodores will try and get back on the winning track this Saturday when the Tigers of LSU come to Memorial Gym. That game tips off at 12 p.m. and can be seen on Lincoln Financial Sports.


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