Vandy Men Defeat MTSU 65-57

The Vanderbilt Commodores got back on the winning path Monday night with a 65-57 win over the MTSU Blue Raiders. This was a big win by the Dores over a team that is expected by most experts to win the Sun Belt.

"I'm really proud of our team. I thought they played really hard with a lot more purpose and effort than we had on Thursday night. We knew they were a good team. We knew it would be a 40 minute game, even when we went into halftime with a lead. MTSU has an NCAA Tournament future this year. We've played other teams in their conference in front of people and not in front of people and they're as good as those teams are. I thought we played solid defensively, even though they only turned the ball over seven times. I thought out defensive and rebounding efforts were stellar," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

Jermaine Beal opened the game with the five quick points to give the Dores a 5-0 lead. Vandy controlled this game from start to finish and would never trail on the night.

The Commodores would start the game slow. They had built a 15-11 lead with 8:48 when they caught fire. Jeffery Taylor started a 16-6 run when he made one of his two free throws, and Charles Hinkle ended the run with a three with 48 seconds left before halftime. Five different Commodores would contribute to the run.

It was hard for either team to get in a flow in this game because of the 54 fouls that were called. "It was physical. I didn't think that too many of them were bad calls. I thought those guys did a good job. We're probably a team that is going to get fouled a lot because of our emphasis on throwing it inside to A.J. [Ogilvy]. Hopefully we can keep pushing the ball inside and getting fouled," Stallings said.

The Blue Raiders would actually outscore Vandy in the second half 40-34, but it would not matter because of how well the Dores played in the first half. The Dores got a total team effort which is what they are going to need to have a successful season.

A.J. Ogilvy led all scorers with 19 points. He also added 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. Taylor had the first double-double of his Vanderbilt career with 13 points and 11 rebounds. "I'm a bit more comfortable. The nervousness before the game is almost gone now. We're a lot more comfortable out there now. I think we're showing that right now; we had a great game tonight," Taylor said.

The Black and Gold also got double digits from Beal with 12 and Brad Tinsley with 10.

Middle Tennessee State University was led in scoring by Demetrius Green with 15 and Nigel Johnson with 12.

The Commodores return to action Wednesday night in the fist game of the Cancun Shootout against Central Arkansas at Memorial Gym. That game tips off at 7 p.m.

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