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December 1, 2012

Vanderbilt falls to Villanova in SEC/Big East challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt battled throughout but ultimately fell as a 62-52 victim to Villanova in the final game of the SEC/Big East Challenge on Saturday.

The Wildcats led for most of the game, but the Commodores closed the gap to 46-44 with 7:18 to play, but Nova's 5-0 run thwarted Vanderbilt's momentum and the Wildcats were able to bleed the clock with free throws.

Villanova's advantage going into the game was its size and the Wildcats finished with 34 rebounds and 20 points in the paint compared to Vanderbilt's 28 boards and 12 points.

Wildcats forward Mouphtaou Yarou led all scorers with 16 points, converting on 10-of-12 trips to the free throw line. Reserve forward JayVaughn Pinkston scored 13 off the bench, shooting 6-of-9 from the field.

The Commodores began the game with a 12-7 advantage behind a balanced effort on both sides of the court. However, Villanova began to pull ahead during the final seven minutes of the first half as VU experienced its last lead at 23-22 with 3:52 to play off of a Shelby Moats layup.

The Wildcats would go on a 12-3 run at the end of the half and start of the second stanza and play with a 6-8 lead off and on, throughout the rest of the game.

Vanderbilt struggled from the field for much of the game, converting just 37-percent of its shots. The Commodores did make 9-of-26 from three, resulting in over 50-percent of the Commodores made shots coming from behind the arc.

Junior Rod Odom led the Commodores with 14 points while freshman Kevin Bright posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 defensive rebounds. The German also dished out four assists.

Kedren Johnson also finished with 12 points.

The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 2-4 on the season. It also closed out the SEC/Big East Challenge with a strong 9-3 advantage for the Big East conference. Only Florida, LSU and Ole Miss defeated their Big East opponent during the challenge, with all three wins coming at home.

The Commodores will return to action on Thursday with a trip to Xavier. Tip-off is set at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

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