Vanderbilt: 87 Florida: 74
Damian Jones was absolutely spectacular on Tuesday night scoring 27 points against a tough Florida Gators defense. The Commodores needed a big win on the road to boost their lackluster tournament resumé and they got it with the help of two lucky heaves.
Josh Henderson nailed an 80-foot shot just before halftime giving his team a five point lead. It appeared that the gators were going to tie the game before the half but Henderson was able to give the ‘Dores some much needed momentum. Just after halftime, Matthew Fisher-Davis banked in a contested 30 foot shot as the shot clock expired. This was a six point swing for Vanderbilt and without both great shots this could have been a much different game.
The difference between this game and most others for Vandy is that each time Florida tried to make a run, the ‘Dores responded. All year when Vanderbilt lost a lead, they could never get it back. They finally showed a great amount of resiliency which is key during the last few games of the season. With the help of Damian Jones and Jeff Roberson, the Commodores were able to shut down the gators throughout the game.
Jeff Roberson scored 18 points to go with Damian Jones’ career high of 27. Wade Baldwin IV added 13 and Matthew Fisher-Davis had 12. These are the types of players that must step up for Vanderbilt if they want to win the big games. They have the most talent on the team and were expected to play like this from day one. They must continue to play the way they have been as they can hang with anyone in the country.
Luke Kornet did not have a very strong game as he had 9 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes. Luke needs to be better for the ‘Dores down the stretch as he is always an x-factor. He has had several great games this year and I fully expect him to get back on track.
Vanderbilt dominated the offensive boards outscoring Florida in second chance points 17-7. This is due to the force of Damian Jones underneath. If he continues to dominate, Vanderbilt is going to be a very tough team to beat in March.
This was a much needed and an impressive win for the Vanderbilt Commodores. After losing to Mississippi St. last week, they needed to beat a good team which Florida has been thus far this year. They play next against Kentucky on Saturday in Nashville. If Vandy can get a win this weekend, then they will look pretty good to make the tournament. If they do not win, it will make things interesting and Commodore fans will have a stressful selection Sunday. Tip off is set for 4:00 P.M. Eastern on CBS.
Go ‘Dores and Anchor Down!
University of Dayton ’18