Vanderbilt holds off Lipscomb, 95-73

NASHVILLE-- Jeffery Taylor scored 20 points and Jermaine Beal added 17 as Vanderbilt opened their 2009-10 season with a 95-73 win over local rival Lipscomb. Vanderbilt shot 59 percent from the field but the Bison were able to hit nine of eighteen 3-point shots to keep it interesting.

A Beal 3-pointer put the Commodores up, 17-8, with just over 16 minutes remaining in the first half. The Commodores looked with they were going to easily blow Lipscomb out when a Goulbourne dunk built their lead to 15 at the 13:36 mark.

However, the scrappy Bison had other ideas. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jordan Burgason cut the Vandy lead to just seven 10 minutes before the break.

Vanderbilt looked like they had things back under control when Taylor made two free throws to put the Commodores up by 17. However, Lipscomb again battled back and pulled to within seven (43-36) on a three-point shot by Brandon Brown just before the halftime buzzer.

In the second half the Commodores built their lead to 10 on four different occasions before finally going up by 12 on a Brad Tinsley layup with 14:10 remaining in the game. After that the Vanderbilt lead would never be less than twelve.

Freshman John Jenkins scored the first points of his Vanderbilt career on a 3-point shot with 13:38 remaining to give Vandy a 15-point lead. Jenkins finished with 7 and made only 1-of-5 three-point attempts. The Commodores built their lead to 18 at 75-57 on an Andre Walker lay in. Walker finished with nine points.

With 2:26 remaining a Jermaine Beal 3-point play put the Commodores up, 93-66, their biggest lead of the game.

Vanderbilt, led by Beal who made 3-of-6 three pointers, made 41 percent (7-of-17) of its shots from beyond the arc.

Other top scorers for Vanderbilt included A.J. Ogilvy who had 13 and Brad Tinsley with 10.

Lipscomb was led in scoring by Josh Slater with 20.

Despite the up-and-down game against the Atlantic Sun Conference Bison, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was pleased with the overall Commodore team performance, "It could have been a lot worse. It was a good night for the first game. I thought we did a poor job with our press after the first few minutes, but that gave us a little separation at the beginning of the game. It was nice to get A.J. [Ogilvy] out… and he's finally looking like the A.J. of old in practice."

Vanderbilt, 1-0, now leads the all time against Lipscomb, 22-4. Vandy's 95 points were the most scored in an opening game by the Commodores since scoring 96 in a 96-61 victory over Liberty on Nov. 16, 2001. The Commodores will next play at Saint Mary's in Moraga, California on Friday.

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