Beal's basket not only gave the Commodores their second road win of the week, it also bailed out teammate A.J. Ogilvy who missed the front end of a 1 and 1 twice in the final minute. Ogilvy, an 80% free throw shooter on the year, was just 1 for 6 from the charity stripe on the day.
The score stayed close the entire game. The biggest lead for either team was when the Commodores led by 7 in the first half. The Gamecocks went on a 6-0 run late in the first half to take a 32-31 lead with 39 seconds to go before the intermission. Vanderbilt's Shan Foster answered by hitting a jumper with 7 seconds left to send the Commodores into the break with a 33-32 lead.
The second half was played even closer than the first half. The biggest lead for either team was 5, and that came when the Commodores opened the half on a 6-2 run that was capped by a Ross Neltner layup.
The Commodores led 61-60 with 2:21 left in the game when Ogilvy was fouled. He missed both free throws, and Evaldas Baniulis made a three at the other end to give the Gamecocks a 63-61 lead.
Vanderbilt would take the lead back when Foster hit a three with just under a minute left to play. The Commodores would hold that lead until Devan Downey made a reverse layup with 6 seconds to go. Beal's game winner came after a timeout from the Commodores and one from the Gamecocks.
Foster led the Commodores in scoring with 21. They also got 15 from Ogilvy.
The Commodores were able to hold Downey, who came averaging 19.8 points per game, to zero points in the first half and just 10 for the game. They also got double digits from Zam Frederick with 13, Baniulis with 10 and Dwayne Day with 10.
After a string of road games to open Southeastern Conference play the Commodores have their next 4 games ta Memorial Gym. Coach Stallings had this to say about his team's schedule so far, "We'll continue to get better. We played with energy and passion. At the end of a six game road stretch, it gets tough. They gutted it out and that's what we needed." That home stand kicks off Tuesday night when the Kentucky Wildcats come to Nashville at 8 p.m. That game will be televised nationally on ESPN.