Vanderbilt: 86 Missouri: 71
Vanderbilt led in this basketball game for a total of 39 minutes and 19 seconds. They were never losing and were only tied one time for 16 seconds other than when the game started 0-0. The Commodores held a double digit lead for almost the entire game, including having a 25 point lead at one point, yet it felt like the team was struggling late in the second half. The lead had dropped to 11 points for a small period of time in which Damian Jones had already fouled out. It truly feels like Vanderbilt can not win the second half whether it be due to turnovers and missed opportunities or being in foul trouble.
The Commodores shot 41.2% from behind the arc in the first half while Mizzou was only 11.1%. Vanderbilt has been incredible shooting the ball in the first half all season, constantly jumping out to huge double digit leads within the first few minutes. If there is one thing to take away from the last few games, it is that Vanderbilt is a team to be reckoned with when their shots are falling. They have so many great shooters and also a good mix of tall 7 footers to keep the defense honest inside.
Vanderbilt won this game simply because they have more talent. They jumped out to a big lead in the first half leading 45-26. When going into the half up by 19 points at home against a team that is 8-16 and 1-10 in the SEC, it is quite hard to stay up for the rest of the game and continue dominating. Especially when the freshman are being put in to get experience, it can become very tough to get stops and score. Late in the game the Tigers began to make their run but Vanderbilt was just way too talented. Wade Baldwin IV, Damian Jones, Jeff Roberson and Luke Kornet were just too much for a young Missouri squad who hasn’t been able to get it going all year long.
Luke Kornet had a dominating night finishing with a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 assists). Kornet really could be the key down the stretch for a surging Commodore team. He is a defensive presence blocking several shots in each game this season and is a matchup problem for most teams in the NCAA.
Tramaine Isabell of Missouri did not have his best game of the year as he came off the bench shooting 1-7 from the field, 0-2 from three and posting only 2 points, 2 rebounds and only 1 assist. Isabell has performed better than this for most of the year and he must play better and learn going forward.
Surprisingly enough, Vanderbilt did not dominate several of the important stat lines. Most of the time, in a game that is a blowout, the winning team will have completely dominated stats such as points in the paint, points off turnovers, fast break points, etc. Vanderbilt only defeated Missouri in points in the paint 40-38 and in fast break points 3-2. The tigers outscored the Commodores bench 22-17 and also had more points off turnovers, 9-7.
Vanderbilt must continue to win down the stretch. They have to get through the next two games with wins as they play 2 of the bottom 3 teams in the SEC in Auburn and Mississippi State. They then have games still to play against Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Florida which will be great tests for this Vanderbilt team. They play at Auburn on Saturday February 13 at 6:00 P.M. EST on ESPN/ESPN2.
Go ‘Dores and Anchor Down!
University of Dayton ’18