basketball Edit

Frustration boils over for Vanderbilt in loss to VCU


Vanderbilt entered the night with a golden opportunity to leave the Stuart C. Siegel Center with a win, but fell to Virginia Commonwealth University by a score of 70-65 in a game filled with all types of frustration.

“I don’t think that tonight’s loss was self-inflicted, I really don’t, I felt like it was a poorly officiated game and they need to be better” head coach Jerry Stackhouse said.


Jerry Stackhouse was ejected from Wednesday night's game (Jake Crandall)
Jerry Stackhouse was ejected from Wednesday night's game (Jake Crandall) (Jake Crandall, USA Today Network)

The Commodores were also sped up offensively and turned it over 19 times throughout the night. Vanderbilt fought until the end but couldn’t finish the deal in a game full of storylines.

The Commodores were led by 20 points from Myles Stute, Liam Robbins also chipped in 14.

Stute opened Vanderbilt’s scoring with two makes from 3-point range but from that point on it was a struggle for the Commodores.

Shortly after the second make from Stute, Senior forward Liam Robbins picked up his second foul and remained on the bench for the remainder of the half.

Robbins, Jordan Wright, and Tyrin Lawrence all finished the half scoreless in a half where Vanderbilt turned it over 13 times.

Stute kept the ‘Dores head above water with 12 first-half points, which came on four 3-pointers, Ezra Manjon also added eight points and two assists.

The Commodores shot 43.5% from the field and 45.5% from three in the half, but scored just 28 points because of their large quantity of turnovers and scoring droughts.

Vanderbilt went scoreless from the field for the final 2:42 of the half while VCU went on a 6-0 run that gave it a seven point lead, their largest of the evening to that point.

Luckily for the Commodores, the Rams also struggled with turnovers which let Vanderbilt stay within striking distance.

The ‘Dores entered the break trailing 35-28.

VCU held on to their lead for the first 10 minutes of the half until Vanderbilt stormed back with a 10-0 run to take the lead back with 9:21 to go.

Less than a minute later, the Rams were back up by five after three straight Vanderbilt turnovers.

A Robbins’ dunk cut the lead to three but the senior forward was given a technical foul immediately after.

Stackhouse adamantly disagreed with the call and was ejected from the game after receiving two technical fouls in a row.

The resulting free throws allowed VCU to extend their lead to seven in a short span.

Vanderbilt looked dead in the water but stormed back with a 10-1 run that put them right back in striking distance.

The Commodores made this one as interesting as can be but were ultimately outscored 16-14 after the ejection and fell to VCU by five points.

With the loss, Vanderbilt falls to 3-4 on the season as they head back to Nashville to gear up for their contest against Wofford on Saturday.

Vanderbilt drops controversial, hard fought loss in frustrating night.

Stackhouse made his feelings on tonight’s loss clear immediately in his post game presser.

“I thought tonight’s game was poorly officiated honestly.” Stackhouse said

Stackhouse says that he was not given an explanation for the call on Robbins and wishes that his big man was given the benefit of the doubt on the call.

The Vanderbilt head coach wasn’t just upset about the foul on Robbins either “the whole first half, I thought it was play after play after play.”

“I was sick of that foolishness tonight.” Stackhouse said.

The Commodores’ loss was also full of rough outings from Vanderbilt’s best players.

Wright finished scoreless, Lawrence had just five points on 1-for-6 shooting, and Robbins was held out with foul trouble.

“We need our main guys (like) Jordan Wright and Tyrin Lawrence who was 1-for-6 tonight, we need more output and more performance from those guys for us to have our best chance to win.” the fourth-year coach added.

Stackhouse also gave an update on Wright’s physical state, “Obviously his back was still bothering him tonight, he wasn’t himself.”

Vanderbilt fought until the end in a hard-fought loss in Richmond, but ultimately could not get the job done in a game where they had an opportunity to pick up a quad one win.

Three Quick Takes:

Vanderbilt showed plenty of fight tonight

It would have been easy for Vanderbilt to curl up and go away after losing their head coach and letting VCU extend their lead to seven, but the Commodores responded in the opposite way.

After Ace Baldwin knocked down the ensuing free throws, Vanderbilt came out with a fire under them.

The Commodores got out to a 10-1 run that put them right back in the game heading into the final stretch.

Stackhouse thinks that stretch says something about this group “that’s who we are, we have some tough minded guys”

Vanderbilt ultimately fell short and was outscored 16-14 after the ejection but has plenty to be proud of in terms of the way the energy that they brought in the final minutes.

Vandy's offense took a step backwards tonight

Heading into Wednesday night’s contest, Stackhouse’s team felt that they were finally getting into a rhythm.

A sloppy first half that included 13 turnovers and scoreless periods from Lawrence, Wright, and Robbins quickly put a damper on that feeling.

For long stretches of the half it felt like there were more than five VCU players on the floor at a time. The Rams overwhelmed the Commodores with their ball pressure, athleticism, and length.

As a result of the pressure Stackhouse’s team got sped up and did the little things poorly. The Commodores turned it over on 39.9% of their first-half possessions and shot just 60% from the free throw line on five attempts throughout the half.

The Commodores were efficient in Wednesday night’s contest but offset that efficiency with the way they turned the ball over.

Myles Stute was a bright spot

In a quiet night from Wright and Lawrence, Vanderbilt needed a go-to guy offensively.

Stute filled that role in a 20 point performance in which he knocked down a few timely shots from beyond the arc on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

“He’s a big part of what we do” Stackhouse said

The Junior forward’s performance tonight encapsulates what Vanderbilt’s ideal offensive identity is: A group that has plenty of guys who can step up on any given night.

Vanderbilt likely would’ve been out of striking range early without Stute’s first half performance, that early stretch set up the rest of the night.

Stute did his part, but the Commodores need more from the rest of their veterans to get wins like this.

Notes:

Everyone but Paul Lewis was active for Vanderbilt tonight. Noah Shelby, Trey Thomas, and Quentin Millora-Brown all missed the Fresno State game. Lewis is still dealing with the flu and concussion symptoms, Stackhouse told the media yesterday.

Vanderbilt stayed with a starting lineup of Manjon, Lawrence, Wright, Stute, and Robbins. This is just the second game this season in which Millora-Brown has been active and Robbins has started. That could be an indication that Robbins has won the starting job after an impressive stretch in Anaheim.

VCU point guard, Ace Baldwin, was questionable but played.

Myles Stute opened the scoring with a 3-pointer that was assisted by Liam Robbins.

Trey Thomas returned from his MCL injury.

Stackhouse played 13 players throughout the night including four freshmen.

Vanderbilt big man Quentin Millora-Brown won a state championship on VCU’s court while he was in high school.

Vanderbilt lost both ends of the home-and-home series with VCU.