Vandy Men Storm Past Central Arkansas 83-62

Freshman Jeffery Taylor scored 16 points and pulled down 6 rebounds to lead the Vanderbilt Commodores to an 83-62 victory over the Bears of Central Arkansas.

"We didn't play so well in the second half because we lost patience and they held on to the ball. We built a nice lead in the first half and kept our turnovers down, but this wasn't the performance that I was hoping for. We didn't play well with a big lead but this is the first time this season that we've been in that situation. We missed some open three-pointers in the game but it was still a victory," Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

The Dores started the game red hot scoring on each of their first eight possessions. Festus Ezeli scored on four of those possessions and had a career-high 11 points in the game.

"We hit them hard in the beginning when they realized that milking the clock wasn't going to work. We played sharper in the start of the game and made more shots," Stallings said.

Vandy would build a 26 point lead with 4:43 to go in the first half after Darshawn McClellan knocked down two free throws. That would be their biggest lead of the night. They would head into the intermission with a 48-29 lead.

The Bears would make things interesting in the second half by opening with an18-6 run, but they would never be able to cut the gap to less than 12 points. It was a good team win of the Commodores with nine different players scoring points.

Stallings said the Bears second half fight was a good learning experience for his young team, "Tonight was a lesson to learn for us. We played for the first time this season with a big lead and it was a challenge because human nature tells them to let up. We'll handle the situation better next time."

George Drake had the best game of his Vanderbilt career with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. "Whether it is coming off the bench or starting, my thoughts are the same to just come in and play with intensity and bring whatever it is I can bring to the team on that night," Drake said after the game.

The Commodores played this game without the services of Andre Walker. Walker injured his leg in the game against Middle Tennessee State University on Monday night and is scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. Stallings said after the game that they are unsure of Walker's status.

In addition to Taylor, Ezeli, and Drake the Dores got double digits from Jermaine Beal with 12, and A.J. Ogilvy and Brad Tinsley with 11 apiece.

Central Arkansas got double digits from Marcus Pillow with 17, Mitch Rueter with 16, and Chris Brown and Mike Pouncy who each had 12.

The Vanderbilt players will get on a plane early on Thanksgiving morning to head to Cancun to continue the tournament with a game against Drake University on Saturday night. That game tips off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the CBS College Sports channel.

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