MBB Handles Utah State, 77-56Listen to Postgame Interviews

Nov. 23, 2007

Playing in his home state, DeSoto native Jermaine Beal finished the night with 14 points, one off his career high set against Nicholls State last year. He also commanded the offense with six assists and no turnovers.

With a 13-point lead and 14 minutes left, coach Kevin Stallings decided to give his five starters a rest. The second unit didn’t disappoint, securing an 11-point margin after logging three minutes together.

Vanderbilt scored 12 second-chance points off a season-high 13 offensive rebounds. USU did not have any second-chance points.

By scoring 11 points in the second half, Foster has now tallied at least 15 points in the first four games of his senior campaign.

The Commodores held WAC Preseason Preseason Player of the Year Jaycee Carroll to a season-low 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Carroll entered the game averaging 21 ppg. Including last year, the Aggies are just 6-11 when he doesn’t reach 20 points.

Bradley defeated Iowa 67-56 earlier today in South Padre behind a career day for senior guard Daniel Ruffin. Ruffin, who entered the game as the nation’s active career assists leader, stole the show with a career-best 24 points and game-highs of seven assists and a career-best tying five steals.

audio.gifAudio (Free): 104.5 Postgame with Coach Stallings

audio.gif104.5 with Beal | audio.gifPlay of Game – Foster Trey

Box Score | Game Quotes | Season Stats

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Next Game: Sat., Nov. 24, vs. Bradley at 7:30 p.m. CT
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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — Senior wing Shan Foster scored 15 points to lead five players in double figures as the Commodores came away with a 77-56 win over Utah State in the semifinal round of the South Padre Invitational Saturday evening.

With the win, Vanderbilt improves to 4-0 on the 2007-08 campaign, while Utah State falls to 3-4 on the season.

The Commodores led 33-30 at the break, although VU shot a season-low 36.1% from the floor in the first half. Despite the low shooting percentage, Vanderbilt went into the break with the lead because of a high defensive intensity level that forced the Aggies into 12 first half turnovers, and limited their leading scorer, Jaycee Carroll, to only six hard-fought points in the first half. For the game, Carroll scored only 11 points, ten points under his season average.

In the second half, Vanderbilt’s offense got on track and opened the period with a 12-2 run that would put Utah State away. In the second stanza, the Commodores shot 60.9% from the floor, 55.6% from three, and 73.3% from the free throw line.

“At the half, we knew our offense was struggling but our defense was solid,” said Vanderbilt point guard Jermaine Beal, who scored a season-high 14 points and had six assists against no turnovers. “We knew that we just had to make some shots and we would be alright.”

Foster led all Commodore scorers with 15 points, with Beal adding his 14 points. Alex Gordon, A.J. Ogilvy, and Ross Neltner all added ten points for Vanderbilt in the winning effort. Alan Metcalfe came off the bench and led Vanderbilt in rebounding with six rebounds.

“We started slowly, but we guarded very well in the first half,” said Vanderbitl head coach Kevin Stallings. “We got better defensively tonight, and when we got on track offensively, we got things going in the second half.

“Shan was fabulous guarding Carroll tonight, and Andre Walker was good as well. We just had a great team defensive effort.”

The Commodores will play for the South Padre Island Invitational title Saturday evening against Bradley. The game can be heard on the Vanderbilt/ISP Radio Network and on vucommodores.com and can be seen live on the worldwide web at http://www.southpadreinvitationaltv.com.