Vanderbilt bombs Mercer, 99-59

NASHVILLE-- John Jenkins scored 17 points and Jermaine Beal added 15 as Vanderbilt thrashed out manned Mercer, 99-59. The win was Vanderbilt's second straight after a 2-game losing streak.

An Andre Walker layup gave Vanderbilt an early 9-3 lead and the home team never looked back as Vanderbilt coasted to a 50-25 halftime lead. In the first half the Commodores shot a sizzling 62.5 percent from the field including a red-hot 63.6 (7-of-11) from three-point range. Three of those treys came from the freshman Jenkins and two from Beal. Meanwhile, Mercer shot only a paltry 29 percent from the field and was only 2-of-9 from 3-point range.

Leading by 25 at the half, in the second half it took only 4 minutes and 35 seconds for the Commodores to build their lead to 36. That margin was reached on a 3-pointer by Brad Tinsley who finished with 14. After that, Mercer was able to cut the margin to 28 with 5:38 remaining on a 3-pointer by Jeff Smith but would never get the score any closer.

Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings was happy but not surprised to see the Commodore's accurate shooting, "We haven't been taking bad shots, they just haven't gone in. I think we're a great three-point shooting team."

Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman also thought the Vanderbilt team was capable of better shooting than they experienced in games previous to Monday night's," Well I knew they were thirty-one or thirty-two percent on the year and I knew they had better shooters than that."

Jenkins, who scored a career high 17-points and has scored in double figures in three of the last four games, said that he is getting more comfortable with the system, "I feel a lot more comfortable, especially with Beal playing like he did tonight. It's good to play off each other as a team because it keeps the momentum going."

Stallings attributed Jenkin's success to his becoming more familiar with the offense, "He's gotten better and started to figure out our offense and how to make it work for him."

Vanderbilt out rebounded Mercer, 37-31, and outscored Mercer, 34-16, in the paint.

Mercer was led in scoring by Brandon Moore who had 14 points.

Vanderbilt (8-3) is now 45-10 all-time against teams from the Atlantic Sun. The Commodores will host Manhattan on December 30th. Mercer falls to 4-6.


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