Vanderbilt shakes off Blue Demons, 67-54

NASHVILLE-- A.J. Ogilvy scored 19 points, with 16 of them coming in the second half, and Jeffery Taylor added 18 points as Vanderbilt rallied to defeat DePaul, 67-54. The Commodores have now won three consecutive meetings with DePaul.

Trailing, 36-35, with 16 minutes remaining in the game, Vanderbilt went on an 8-0 run and the Blue Demons never led again. However, despite keeping the lead, DePaul continued to threaten well into the second half. A Brad Tinsley 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining finally gave Vandy some breathing room making the score, 48-38. But again the Blue Demons battled back and cut the lead to just four (53-49) with 4:40 remaining. Jermaine Beal's jumper later put Vanderbilt back up by eight with 3:30 left in the game.

Ogilvy and John Jenkins made six combined free throws in the game's final minutes to preserve the win. Jenkins finished with seven points. Ogilvy continues to show improvement at the free throw line making 13-of-15 attempts. It was the most free throws made in a game by a Commodore since Matt Freije made 18 against Indiana in 2003.

While Ogilvy scored the majority of his points in the second half, Taylor tallied 10 of his in the first half. "We got the ball to A.J. and he did something with it. A.J. and Jeff [Taylor] gave us life on offense," said a relieved Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings after the game.

In the messy, ugly first half the two teams combined for 17 fouls and 12 turnovers. DePaul led briefly at the start of the game before Vanderbilt took a 6-4 lead on an Andre Walker tip in. Vanderbilt would go on to lead by as many as seven in the opening half but was never able to take control. A Will Walker lay up with 2:06 left in the half put the Blue Demons on top, 26-24. Trailing 28-24 in the final seconds of the half, Brad Tinsley made a long 3-point shot to pull the Commodores to within one at the break.

Despite predictions by many of a lopsided Vanderbilt win, Stallings knew the Commodores would have their hands full, "I know Jerry [Wainwright] and he has their team the way they have to be to be effective and beat people. I have a tremendous amount of admiration for him."

Wainwright was impressed with the play of Vandy's Taylor, "We haven't really seen a forward like him. He's really skilled and has great flow. Jeff has the kind of movement that he can guard Will Walker. So I thought he was really key."

Walker led the Blue Demons in scoring with 17. Michael Bizoukas added 11.

Vanderbilt out rebounded DePaul, 41-33. It was the first time this season the Commodores have out rebounded an opponent in two straight games. Andre Walker led Vandy with 7 rebounds including three offensive boards. Brad Tinsley had a career night in the rebounding department, finishing with four.

Vanderbilt improves to 6-1 with the victory. The Commodores face another team from the state of Illinois on Tuesday when they visit the University of Illinois. That game will be shown on the Big Ten Network. DePaul falls to 5-2. The Blue Demons will visit another SEC team in their next game when they travel to Mississippi State on Thursday.

Vanderbilt center A. J. Ogilvy, left, is defended by DePaul guard Jeremiah Kelly (11) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009,in Nashville, Tenn. Ogilvy led Vanderbilt with 19 points as Vanderbilt won 67-54. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Commodores Daily Top Stories