Vanderbilt pulls away from Alabama A&M to snap 3-game losing streak
Vanderbilt avoided disaster today against Alabama A&M, holding off the Bulldogs 78-59 at Memorial Gymnasium. In front of what looked like a crowd of approximately 1,500 people, Coach Stackhouse’s group snapped a 3-game losing streak to get back to .500 overall. Meanwhile, Alabama A&M falls to 1-6 on the season.
The first half saw ugly play from both teams and ended with a 36-29 halftime lead. Tyrin Lawrence and Evan Taylor were the bright spots offensively, but overall the shooting output wasn’t great otherwise. Ven-Allen Lubin got in on the action for his first three-pointer of the season, can’t say anyone in the gym expected that.
Coming into today’s meeting, the Commodores were shooting 42% and 34% from three-point range. Tonight wasn’t much better, but it didn’t need to be. Vandy finished 43% from the field and 32% from beyond the arc.
Tyrin Lawrence looked more active and involved with the offense after a tough outing against Boston College on Wednesday. He finished with 19 points off the bench and was 8-10 from the charity stripe.
After the game, Coach Stackhouse felt good about Lawrence’s production, especially after struggling the last couple of outings.
“We just focused on him taking more time in the pick and roll. We tried to have formations to get him a double gap. It’s a rhythm thing, he’ll get back to being more of who he is with more reps and practice.”
Meanwhile, Ezra Manjon also looked better even though the stats don’t necessarily back that up. The floor general finished with 12 points and 7 assists.
After the game Coach Stackhouse said Manjon is not playing at 100% right now.
“He’s probably at 70%, but his heart is at 110%. It’s infectious to his team. When there’s 40 minutes on the clock, he’s going to give us everything he has.”
The Commodores got to the free throw line at a tremendous clip today, helping them to a much-needed win. From the stripe, Vandy finished 24-34 from the stripe, a stat that should be encouraging for this coaching staff. Even though the opponent didn’t offer much resistance, that free throw number is still encouraging, especially with an SEC gauntlet beginning in January.
As for the role players, Jason Rivera-Torres and Ven-Allen Lubin also finished with encouraging stat lines. Rivera-Torres had 10 points and 8 rebounds, while Lubin had 14 points and two threes off the bench
As a whole, today was encouraging, but Wednesday night’s test against San Francisco will be a great measuring stick for where this team is at this point in the season. The Commodores finished with five scorers in double digits and turned up the defensive pressure in the second half with some fullcourt defense mixed in.
San Francisco rolls into Nashville on Wednesday for what will be a massive contest for this program.