MBB plays second game in three days Monday vs. UNC Asheville

The Vanderbilt Commodores will play their second game in three days on New Year’s Eve at Memorial Gym when they welcome UNC Asheville to Memorial Gym for a Monday afternoon tip-off. The game will begin at 1 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus.  Commodore fans can also tune into the game on the Vanderbilt IMG Radio Network with Joe Fisher and Tim Thompson on WLAC 1510 AM and 98.3 FM, and online on vucommodores.com and the vucommodores app.

The Commodores improved to 8-3 on the season after a 95-76 win over Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym.  Five Vanderbilt players scored in double figures, with sophomore guard Saben Lee leading the way with a season-high 23 points.  Senior Joe Toye tied a career high with 18 points, while Simisola Shittu, Maxwell Evans, and Matthew Moyer each added 10 points in the victory.

Five players scored in double figures for the third time this season.

The Commodores shot 50% from the floor for the game for the fourth time this season.  Vanderbilt moved to 2-2 on the season when making fewer threes than their opponent, and won their first game of the season when a game tips before 6 p.m. CT (1-2).

This is the fifth career meeting with UNC Asheville, with all meetings coming at Memorial Gym.

Vanderbilt Basketball Quick Hitters

  • Prior to the game against Kansas State, Vanderbilt knocked off nationally-ranked Arizona State at Memorial Gym on December 17th.  The win snapped an eight-game losing streak to ranked opponents, dating back to a 72-62 overtime win over 17th-ranked Florida at the 2017 SEC Tournament (3/10/17) at Bridgestone Arena.
  • Nine Commodores have scored in double figures in a game so far this season.
  • The Commodores are second in the SEC and 29th nationally in fewest fouls.  Vanderbilt is second in the SEC and 15th nationally in defensive rebounds per game (30.18), third in the SEC in fewest turnovers (145 for the season), free throws made (207), and fourth in the league in free throw attempts (288), scoring offense (82.3), threes made per game (8.7), total rebounds per game (40.36), and turnovers per game (13.2).
  • Freshman point guard Darius Garland, a five-star recruit and a 2018 McDonald’s All-American, was lost for the season after suffering a meniscus injury in his left knee against Kent State on November 23.  He suffered the injury two minutes into the game against the Golden Flashes.  Garland was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week in the opening week of the year after averaging 21.5 points per game in two Commodore wins over Winthrop and USC.  
  • Sophomore Saben Lee has stepped in as the team’s starting point guard in Garland’s absence.
  • On November 27, the Commodores scored 120 points against Savannah State, the most by a Vanderbilt team since December 22, 1970, when Vanderbilt scored a program-best 130 points in a win over Ole Miss (130-112).  
  • Joe Toye scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time of his four-year career in the first three games of the 2018-19 season and has double-digit points in eight games this season, including his last three.  Toye is the team’s lone senior.
  • Vanderbilt won their 800th career game at Memorial Gym against Arizona State on December 17.  Memorial Gym, which opened in 1952, is the oldest basketball arena in the SEC.
  • As of December 30, Shittu is fourth in the SEC in defensive rebounds (6.0) per game, sixth in rebounding (7.6), seventh in FG% (50.4%), and 10th in free throw attempts (57).  Lee is 10th in the league in assists (3.7), fourth in free throw attempts (76), third in free throws made (55), while Matt Ryan is sixth in the SEC in 3FG made per game (2.45).
  • Vanderbilt won its first road game of the season at USC, the first time the Commodores have had a season-opening road win since a 72-70 win over St. Mary’s on November 20, 2009.  
  • Shittu’s double-double in the season-opener was the first by a Commodore freshman in a season opener since Ted Young tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds against Rice in 1979.
  • According to KenPom, the Commodores rank 311th in the nation in terms of experience (1.21 years).
  • Head coach Bryce Drew, now in his third season, led the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Nashville, marking the first time in the history of the program a first-year Vanderbilt coach led his team to the tournament. 
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Matthew Moyer, who transferred from Syracuse after the 2017-18 season, was granted immediate eligiblity by the NCAA this season on November 15.

About UNC Asheville

  • UNC Asheville enters the game with a 2-11 overall record after dropping their last time out against Fayetteville State Saturday afternoon.
  • DeVon Baker leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 16.3 points per game.  Taijion Jones (11.0) and Coty Jude (10.8) also average double figures.
  • This is the second consecutive season the two teams have met on the hardwood.

Vanderbilt (8-3) vs. UNC Asheville (2-11)
Nashville, Tenn. – Memorial Gym – 1 p.m. CT
SEC Network +
TV Talent: Kevin Ingram (pxp), Shan Foster (analyst)
Radio:  Vanderbilt Radio Network from IMG College, vucommodores.com
Radio Talent: Joe Fisher (pxp), Tim Thompson (analyst)
Satellite Radio:  XM 383
Live Stats: vucommodores.com
Twitter Updates:  @VandyMBB

Three Point U
The Commodores are one of only three schools (UNLV and Princeton) to have made a three-point basket in every game since the inception of the three-point line in the 1986-87 season.

With a made three against UNC Asheville, Vanderbilt will move to 1,043 consecutive games with a three-pointer.

Freshmen Leading the Charge
The Commodores are one of only two programs (Duke) in the nation to have three separate freshman score 20 points or more in a game (Darius Garland, Aaron Nesmith, Simisola Shittu)

A freshman has also led the Commodores in scoring in every game this season.

Commodores in 86th SEC Season
Vanderbilt is now in its 86th SEC season and is a charter member of the league.  All time against current members of the conference, Vanderbilt is 715-706.

The Commodores begin SEC play in earnest this Saturday when they host Ole Miss at Memorial Gym (7:30 p.m., SEC Network).

Against Big South
The Commodores are 15-0 all time against the Big South.  Vanderbilt defeated Winthrop earlier this season.