basketball Edit

Vanderbilt basketball's veterans step up in impressive road win

After Friday night’s discouraging performance, Jerry Stackhouse’s Commodores team came out on a mission in their 89-87 win against the Temple Owls at the Liacouras center.


Myles Stute had a team high 21 points in Vanderbilt's impressive road win (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Myles Stute had a team high 21 points in Vanderbilt's impressive road win (Christopher Hanewinckel) (Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports)

The Commodores finally moved into the win column in an impressive performance that was headed by Vanderbilt’s veteran core.

“It was an awesome game” Stackhouse said

The start of Vanderbilt’s night was essentially the opposite result of what has transpired with the group through two games, the Commodores struggled to get a stop and allowed 16 points which included three makes from 3-point range.

The offensive end also looked different early on, though. 10 of the Commodores 13 points before the second break came in the paint after drives from Tyrin Lawrence, Jordan Wright, and Ezra Manjon along with a post up from Liam Robbins.

The Commodores and Owls traded baskets for a few minutes until the Commodores cut the lead to four after an 8-0 run.

Vanderbilt’s offense continued to flow through the end of the half but Jerry Stackhouse’s team couldn’t get enough stops to take the lead. The half ended with a score knotted at 37.

The Commodores put together their best offensive half of the season in the first half of Tuesday night’s game behind a 55.2 shooting percentage from the field and a 50% mark from beyond the arc.

The half also included the first baskets of Paul Lewis' and Lee Dort's college career.

The Commodores and Owls stayed even throughout the second half until the Commodores jumped out to an 8-0 run around the 13-minute mark. During that run, Vanderbilt’s defense stepped up their intensity and got out in transition often.

Vanderbilt continued that run and extended their lead to 13 points before the 8:05 media timeout. The scoring burst was lead encouraging baskets by Robbins, Wright, and Stute.

Temple combatted the Commodores with a quiet scoring run that cut the lead to seven at the 3:30 media timeout.

Temple then stormed back behind a few tough shots from Damian Dunn and company.

The owls then tied it on a possession in which they grabbed a few offensive rebounds and converted on two late free throws to tie the game.

Vanderbilt had an opportunity to put Temple away in regulation, but couldn’t do it as Jordan Wright missed a contested mid range jumper in the final seconds.

The Commodores started out overtime with a 7-2 run behind a few timely buckets from their group of important veterans.

Temple wouldn’t go away, though, and kept their head above water after a timely transition layup by Hysier Miller and a contested three from Dunn that cut the lead to 85-83.

A Liam Robbins free throw added a point for the Commodores, but two free throws by Nick Jourdain and a Dunn layup put the Owls ahead by one.

Vanderbilt countered with a contested jumper by Manjon and a blocked shot by Liam Robbins to win it as time expired.

The Commodores got in the win column for the first time of the 2022-23 season in an impressive victory.

Vanderbilt puts together their best performance of the season in tight victory

After two outings that Vanderbilt likely wishes they had back, the Commodores put everything together in a game that culminated with Vanderbilt’s first win of the season.

Vanderbilt’s offense was significantly better in nearly every aspect than they were throughout their first two games and the Commodores got significantly better performances from their veterans tonight than in the past.

The Commodores needed a win to right the ship and boost their resume, tonight’s impressive performance provided that for a Vanderbilt team that was struggling.

Three Quick Takes:

Vanderbilt’s offense took a step in the right direction

Vanderbilt’s offense had been the most pressing issue for Stackhouse’s team through the first two games of the season. Heading into Tuesday’s contest, the Commodores were ranked 341st in points per game and 331st in field goal percentage throughout the early part of the season.

The Commodores looked like a completely different team on the offensive end when they took the floor in Philadelphia, though.

"We were able to be ourselves a little bit more" Stackhouse said.

"Fffensively the ball moved, we got in the paint, kicked it out, punched it in the post, we played our game and more importantly we made shots" the fourth year head coach added.

Stackhouse’s team did it all on Tuesday night, they moved the ball, had 14 more assists than turnovers, got out in transition, made plays in the lane, and created looks off the dribble.

Wright, Lawrence, and Manjon combined for eight early points in the paint that all started by the Vanderbilt guards beating their man off the dribble and ended by them finishing around the rim.

That was an encouraging sign that continued throughout the night for a Vanderbilt backcourt that had previously been reliant on shots from behind the arc.

As opposed to the 27 threes per game taken by the Commodores, the veteran led team shot just 18 tonight.

Vanderbilt was also able to generate offense through the low post, something they hadn’t done much of throughout the Southern Miss and Memphis games.

There was clearly an emphasis put on generating touches for Robbins on the low block and the veteran big man proved that to be an effective strategy in his 20-point performance.

The Commodores finished with 48 points in the paint as a result and nearly doubled their total scoring output from Friday night’s contest.

Stackhouse’s team also shot 54% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc, easily making it their most efficient performance of the season.

To compete in the SEC, Vanderbilt has to improve offensively and tonight was a great stride in the right direction.

Vanderbilt’s veterans stepped up

Stackhouse has been clear all season that he was going to make his veterans earn everything, tonight his older guys earned it.

When Vanderbilt made its second half run, it was their talented veterans who were on the floor for it.

Stute, Wright, and Robbins were particularly impressive throughout the second half and hit important shots to put the Commodores in control during their run.

Those three veterans along with Manjon were key to Vanderbilt’s success late in the game as well.

Stute hit key threes to keep the Commodores’ head above water, Wright was their go-to guy when they needed a bucket, Manjon hit the go-ahead bucket, and Robbins blocked a shot as time expired to win it.

The Commodores’ core group of veterans also all easily exceeded their previous scoring high on the season.

Stute lead the way with 21 points with seven made threes, Robbins followed with 20 points on 81% shooting, Wright chipped in 18 points, and Manjon had 11 points along with nine assists.

The group shot a combined 61.2% from the field and scored a total of 70 points.

For Vanderbilt to get to where it wants to go, the veterans have to lead the charge, tonight nearly all of the important veterans in Stackhouse’s group stepped up and lead the Commodores to their best performance of the season.

It’s silly to expect that Vanderbilt will get that type of contribution from their veterans on a nightly basis, but the way they contributed tonight is certainly an encouraging development for Stackhouse’s team.

Vanderbilt still has room for improvement

Things turned out well for Stackhouse’s group, but a few mistakes that the Commodores made late in the contest allowed Temple to work their way back into the game and showed some of Vanderbilt’s flaws.

The Commodores shot just four-for-eleven from the free throw line on the night, including a few crucial attempts late in the game, made a key turnover or two towards the end of night, and didn’t defend the way they had throughout the first two games.

Temple shot 47.5% from the field and 48.3% from three throughout the night, even with the impressive shotmaking of the Owls, Vanderbilt still likely wants more from their team on that end.

Vanderbilt had their best performance of the year, but still has things to improve on before SEC play.

Notes:

Vanderbilt went back to the starting lineup from last Monday’s season opener of Ezra Manjon, Tyrin Lawrence, Jordan Wright, Myles Stute, and Quentin Millora-Brown.

Liam Robbins was the first player off the bench, Emmanuel Ansong was second.

Stackhouse went 11 deep in the first half tonight, the only active players who didn't see the floor were Adrian Samuels and Noah Shelby

Colin Smith and Trey Thomas were unavailable because of injury. Smith may miss a few more games.

Miles Keeffe checked in at the 12:25 mark to make his season debut.

Former Vanderbilt guard, Shane Dezonie, checked in for Temple at that mark.

Dezonie played just two minutes and did not score.

Vanderbilt had four players in double figures, all of them being upperclassmen.

Ezra Manjon led the Commodores with nine assists, Jordan Wright also had seven.

Liam Robbins had four blocks.

Temple guard, Damian Dunn, finished with 38 points.

The Commodores out-rebounded Temple 37-36.