Vandy Men Knock Off South Florida 71-52

Sophomore center A. J. Ogilvy scored 18 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Commodores to a 71-55 win over the South Florida Bulls at the Sommet Center in the Big East/SEC Challenge.

The win gave Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings the 300th of his career. Both the Commodores and the South Florida Bulls played sloppy in the first half, but the Black and Gold pulled away for an easy win in the second half.

"Albeit it was extremely ugly, I thought our guys played really hard and I liked the effort we put forth on the backboards. I thought we rebounded well, limited them to one shot and did a good job in our half-court defense. A big key for us was not allowing them to get the ball and get transition baskets. (South Florida) didn't show it tonight, but they are very explosive in transition. We did a great job of getting back, setting our defense and forcing them to play against a set defense for most of the night. I didn't like how we took care of the ball, but we are going to have to live with some of that. I thought Jermaine (Beal) and A.J. (Ogilvy) were exceptional. When those guys play like that, we will have a chance in most games," Stallings said after the game.

The Dores would not get their first field goal of the game until 14:53 left in the first half when Ogivly hit a layup. That layup would start a 16-4 run that would end with the Commodores holding an 18-9 lead with 9:03 left to go before the intermission. Vandy would end the half with a 28-22 lead after a layup from Jermaine Beal.

After struggling in the first half, the Vanderbilt offense would come to life in the second half and score 43 points. They would officially put the game out of reach with a 10-1 run that was capped by a Festus Ezeli dunk.

"I think our guys were lax and I thought they were uptight. Offensively, they were very nervous. You'd like to think in the 10th game of the year they wouldn't be nervous, but when you trot out there with three freshmen and a sophomore starting the game, you just never know. You come down here and play in a nationally televised game and the young guys are just going to get nervous. I know one thing, I won't have any hair by the time these guys get to where we need them," Stallings said of his offense in the second half.

Beal led the way for the Commodores with 20 points. Ogilvy was the only other Vanderbilt player in double digits with 18. Freshman sensation Jeffery Taylor ended the game with 9 points. This game was the first in his Vanderbilt career where he did not have at least 10 points.

The Bulls got double digits from Dominique Jones with 19, Augustus Gilchrist with 12, and Mike Mercer with 10.

The Vandy men return to action Saturday against Tennessee Tech at Memorial Gym. That game tips off at 5 p.m. and can be seen on CSS.

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