Vanderbilt bounces back against LSU

The Vanderbilt Commodores got back on track Saturday afternoon with a 92-76 win over the LSU Tigers to even their Southeastern Conference record at 2-2. The Commodores were 9 for 20 from behind the arch Saturday after going just 3 for 21 in Knoxville Thursday night.

Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings realized the importance of this game to his team's confidence, "We needed the win. I was afraid that our confidence would be a little bit down. I liked the energy we played with, the aggressiveness and the way we pushed the ball. I thought we played free on offense and took great care of the ball. That was a nice thing to see. I thought our ability to push the tempo and speed up the game worked out in our favor."

The Commodores are going to need Alex Gordon and Ross Neltner to play well in SEC games in order to win. They both struggled at Kentucky and at Tennessee, but each stepped up big at Memorial on Saturday. Neltner scored 16 points and made 6 of his 8 shots. He also grabbed 5 rebounds and did not turn the ball over. Stallings was please about Neltner's play on Saturday and his importance to his team, "I thought Ross was terrific. He picked his spots, took the ball to the basket went he needed to and took the shot when he should. He is a very steadying influence on our team and he's one of our toughest guys. We knew he was going to bounce back. Fortunately, he did that today."

Gordon made 4 of 7 threes and ended the game with 18 points. He also added 3 steals and only turned the ball over one time. Stallings said Gordon played well and had a lot of balance in his game.

The Commodores went on an 11-3 run that was capped by a Jermaine Beal jumper late in the first half and were in command for much the rest of the game. The Tigers were able to score the last 5 points of the first half, including a three by Alex Farrer at the first half buzzer, to take a little momentum into the intermission.

The second half was all Commodores. Shan Foster hit a three on Vanderbilt's first possession of the second half, and Gordon hit back-to-back threes following that to push the Commodore lead to 15. LSU would not get closer than 11 for the rest of the game.

All five of the Commodore starters finished in double figures. Foster and Gordon led the way with 18 apiece followed by Neltner with 16. A.J. Ogilvy and Beal both added 10.

The Tigers were led in scoring by Marcus Thornton with 27. They also got double figures from Anthony Randolph with 14 and Garrett Temple with 10.

The Commodores have a next week off before traveling to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators next Sunday. That game tips off at noon and will be televised on Raycom Sports.


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