Cold-shooting Vandy falls to Irish, 76-63

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Notre Dame's Chris Thomas scored 19 points as the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish raced out to an 18-point halftime lead and then withstood a second-half Vanderbilt rally to win, 76-63.

It was the third road loss of the season for Vanderbilt, which was led in scoring by junior Matt Freije with 23. The Commodores struggled in shooting from the field all night, hitting just 21-of-59 from the field and 5-of-21 from three-point range.

However, the Commodores pulled off a rally in the second half behind the heroics of Freije and forward Julian Terrell. Terrell, a 6-9, 225-pound freshman from Nashville, came off the bench to score 12 points and pull down 10 rebounds.

After trailing by as many as 22 points, the Commodores narrowed the lead to 60-54 with nine minutes remaining when guard Russell Lakey hit a three-pointer. Lakey went on to score 12 for Vanderbilt.

But the Vanderbilt rally was short-lived. The Commodores returned to their cold-shooting ways of the first half and were outscored 16-9 for the remainder of the game by Notre Dame. The Irish managed to hit the majority of their free throws down the stretch.

"We just have to find ways to win games," said Commodore Head Coach Kevin Stallings on the Vanderbilt ISP Network. "We did a great job of coming back and playing hard and getting ourselves back in the game. Then we miss layups and we miss wide open jump-shots and we miss front ends of bonuses. We started fouling."

Vanderbilt falls to 6-4 with the loss. Vanderbilt next hosts College of Charleston on Thursday evening at Memorial Gym. Notre Dame improves to 11-1 and travels to Valparaiso on January 4.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings argues with officials during first half action. Stallings would get a technical foul. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond) Top Stories