Vandy Men Roll Past Alabama A&M 78-55

Freshman Jeffery Taylor scored 18 in route to a 78-55 Vandy win at Memorial Gym on Wednesday night over Alabama A&M. The win stopped the Dores two game losing streak.

"It was critical for us at this point in the season. We've already got ourselves behind the eight ball and it was an important game for us. I thought our guys approached it as an important game," Commodores' Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

Vanderbilt got off to a fast start in this game when freshman guard Brad Tinsley hit a three on the opening possession on a play that Stallings said was a perfect execution of the offense. That three was the start of a 10-1 Vandy run that was capped by a Tinsley three.

Although the Black and Gold would never trail in this game, the Bulldogs would pull to within two at 23-21 when Trant Simpson hit a three with 6:11 left to go in the half.

The Commodores would answer the Simpson three with a 7-0 run to open a 9 point lead. That run was capped with authority by a Festus Ezeli dunk.

After Casey Cantey made a three on A&M's ensuing possession, junior guard Jermaine Beal would take over the game. In the final 2:20 of the first half Beal would have five points, including a nice dunk, and three steals.

"I was timing it the whole half. The guy that was guarding me got it sometimes, and sometimes I made it. I just made some plays for us, I guess. It felt good. We were all out there having fun, running around playing defense," Beal said after the game.

"It separated the game for us. We got away from them at that point. He created a spark and got a couple of steals. It was a key stretch in the game," Stallings said of Beal's play at the end of the half.

Vanderbilt ended the half on an 11-2 run to take a 41-26 lead into the intermission.

The second half was more of the same for the Commodores. They played sloppy at times but would never allow the Bulldogs to get closer than 10 points.

A big reason for the Dores success in this game was their shooting. They shot 59% from the field and 72% from the free throw line. "We did a good job of executing offensively at the beginning of the game. This got them out of position and gave us quality looks at the basket. We had them on their heels. We didn't do a good job in the second half from three, but they did a better job in the second half in keeping us out of rhythm," said Stallings.

In addition to Taylor's 18 Vanderbilt got double digits from A.J. Ogilvy with 17 and Beal with 14.

The Bulldogs got double figures from Simpson with 18 and Cantley with 10.

The Commodores now have a few days off to prepare for exams. They return to action Tuesday, December 16th at the Big East/SEC Challenge at the Sommet Center. Vandy will take on South Florida. That game tips off at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

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