Ole Miss Smacks Vanderbilt, 74-58

The road has not been kind to the Vanderbilt Commodores early in their Southeastern Conference schedule. That proved to be true in Oxford, Mississippi Wednesday night where the Commodores fell 74-58 to the Ole Miss Rebels.

Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings had this to say about his team's play tonight, "We missed a lot of open shots in the first half. We had an opportunity to be up big at the half, but we didn't make our shots. We've got a lot of work to do. We need to get better. We played harder tonight and were able to battle Ole Miss on the boards in the first half. This is not fun right now."

The story of the game can be told by looking at two numbers; shooting percentage and free throws attempted. The Commodores were 22-64 (34%) from the field in this game while the Rebels were 28-64 (44%). The Commodores attempted just 4 free throws to the Rebels 17.

Unlike the games at Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida the Commodores were not trailing big at the half. They only trailed by 3 heading into the intermission. A.J. Ogilvy has struggled more than any other Commodore player in the first half of SEC games, but Wednesday night was the exact opposite. Ogilvy scored all of his 10 points in the first 20 minutes of the contest. Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy commented on his team's defensive play against Ogilvy, "I thought our ball pressure was good. We did a good job pressuring him. Ogilvy, because of his production and him being so good, we forget the fact that he's a kid. We're in the grind of the season and it wears on these young kids."

The game started to get away from the Commodores late in the first half. They allowed the Rebels to go on a 7-2 run to close the half. That run shifted the momentum to the Rebels. They carried that momentum through the break, opening the second half on a 15-5 run to give the Rebels a 10 point lead at 44-31. Stallings talked about his team's rough start to the second half, "We got off to a bad start in the second half, and that was the difference in the game. We talked at the half about continuing to do the things that kept us in the game in the first half. Obviously, my message didn't get through."

Vandy was able to get right back in the game by putting together an 11-5 run of their own that was capped by a Shan Foster three. This narrowed the Rebels' lead to 4 at 46-42. Unfortunately for the Commodores, that was as close as they would get for the rest of the contest.

Foster led the Commodores in scoring with 13. The only other Vanderbilt player in double digits was Ogilvy with 10.

Freshman guard Chris Warren led the Rebels in scoring with 20. They also got 18 from Eniel Polynice and 10 from Kenny Williams.

The Commodores return to Memorial Gym on Saturday to take on the Auburn Tigers. That game tips at 4 p.m. and can be seen on FSN.

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