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November 19, 2013

Vanderbilt falls to Butler in OT

INDIANAPOLIS- Vanderbilt staged a 14-point comeback late in the second half but could not continue that momentum in overtime as the Commodores fell to the Butler Bulldogs 85-77 on Tuesday evening inside the famous Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Sophomore guard Eric McClellan was the story of the game for the Commodores as the Texas native scored 20 points during the second half after struggling through much of the game's first two minutes. The 6-foot-4 talent took advantage of his length and made it routine to drive to the basket and force the Bulldogs into fouling.

McClellan converted on 11-of-16 shots from the free throw line, but it was his missed free throw with 11 seconds to play and the score tied at 70-70 that nearly gave VU a chance to pull out the victory. Unfortunately for the Commodores, the guard proved he was far from perfect and dribbled into a double team that led to a travel.

McClellan also finished with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in the defeat.

Just as Butler had little answer for McClellan in the second half, the Commodores had no answer for Butler's Khyle Marshall in the overtime stanza. The senior out of Florida scored nine of Butler's 15 points with a few lefty drives against Commodores prized freshman Damian Jones as well as few circus shots.

Marshall finished with 26 points, converting on 11-of-15 shots from the field for the game.

Vanderbilt got into early foul trouble to start the game, committing 15 fouls through the games first 20 minutes. Both Jones and power forward James Siakam committed three fouls a piece in the half, saddling the effectiveness of a front line that had a size and athletic advantage going into the game.

Butler guard Kellen Dunham also gave the Commodores fits during the course of the game as the junior scored 16 points including three three-pointers. His play helped Butler come back from a 8-0 deficit to start the game, sparking a 36-20 run.

The Bulldogs held a 8-10 point advantage for about 10 minutes of the game and led 61-47 with 7:43 to play, but VU would chip away with penetration to the basket to force the action and converting at the free throw line.

Vanderbilt shot 48.1-percent from the field and won the rebounding matchup 38-36. However, Butler held the advantage in second chance points. The Commodores also committed 19 turnovers.

Damian Jones was the only other Commodore in double figures, adding 12 points and converting on 6-of-8 attempts from the charity stripe. Senior front man Kameron Woods added 10 points for Butler.

Vanderbilt (2-1) is now 0-5 all-time against Butler University.

The Commodores will return to action on Friday in St. Thomas of the Virgin Islands for the ezybonds Paradise Jam. Vanderbilt will take on Providence (4-0) in the opener. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. CT.

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