Vandy Offense Struggles in 76-63 Loss to UT

Junior guard George Drake scored a career high 16 points off the bench but it was not enough as the Commodores (12-6, 1-3) fell to the Tennessee Volunteers (12-5, 2-1) 76-63 at Memorial Gym on Tuesday night.

"Tennessee played better than we did and we probably missed some makeable shoot early and it might have got in our heads a little bit. It just seemed like there was a lid on that basket in the first half. We dug ourselves a hole and every time we needed to make something happen in the second half, we seemed like we'd miss a shot or a free throw."

"Nothing replaces putting the ball in the hoop. We just didn't do that very well tonight. We have to get back to practice and see if we can help our guys a little bit," Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

Tennessee started the game on a 10-1 run that was led by three point baskets by junior forward Wayne Chism on back to back possessions. Vanderbilt appeared to be too patient on offense in the opening minutes of the game as multiple players passed on multiple open looks.

Drake would come in off the bench and try to spark the Vandy offense by knocking down a couple of quick buckets, but the team could not follow his lead.

Inbound plays were a big problem for the Dores in the first half. The Vols forced turnovers on consecutive possessions when the Black and Gold was trying to throw the ball in.

Vandy was ice cold in the first half shooting just 19% from the floor for the half. They also missed three of their first five free throws, but they would hit their final six free throws of the half, and despite the poor shooting percentage they only trailed by eight points at the intermission.

Vanderbilt would cut the lead to seven at 37-30 on back to back baskets from Drake, but the Volunteers would answer with a 7-0 run to open up what was at that time their biggest lead of the game at 44-30 with just under 14 minutes left to play in the game.

Steve Tchiengang would hit a couple of threes to cut the lead back to 8, but Tennessee would answer again with a 7-2 run to get the lead back to 13. It was just that kind of night for the Commodores.

They would make one final push after a Charles Hinkle hit a three with 7:50 left in the game, but would miss two threes and the front end of a one and one on their next three possessions. It would not be enough though as the Vols continued to make shots to keep Vandy from closing the gap.

The Commodores ended the game shooting just 35%, and Brad Tinsley would be the only Vandy player besides Drake to score double digits with 10 points.

Tennessee got a huge night off the bench from Chism with 20 points. They also got double figures from Tyler Smith with 18, J.P. Prince with 16 and Scotty Hopson with 11, all in the second half.

Vanderbilt will now get a few days off with their next game coming against the Florida Gators on Sunday at Memorial Gym. That game tips off at 12:30 central time and can be seen on CBS.


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