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November 16, 2006

Hoyas humble Vandy in opener, 86-70

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Vanderbilt's new "up-tempo" offense struggled to find success from three-point range, and a defense that struggled mightily in an exhibition game against Division II Northern State looked no better in the regular-season opener, as the Commodores fell 86-70 to No. 8 Georgetown at Memorial Gym.

Vandy's Shan Foster, who lit the Hoyas up for 20 points a year ago, scored just two points and failed to hit a field goal. As a team, the Commodores hit just five-of-21 three-pointers, and just 41.5% from the field on the whole.

Defensively, the Hoyas lit Vanderbilt up for 44 points in the paint, many easy lay-ups and dunks by center Roy Hibbert, who scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes. Forward Jeff Green chipped in with 19 points and eight rebounds in only 22 minutes.

"Unfortunately we ran into an awfully-good basketball team tonight. I thought our guys played with great effort and energy, but at times, they were just too big on the inside," remarked Vandy coach Kevin Stallings afterwards.

The Hoyas raced out to a double-digit lead at the 12:08 mark of the first half when Jonathan Wallace hit a jumper for a 17-7 lead.

Georgetown maintained a five-to-10 point lead for most of the half, but the Commodores cut the halftime to 39-35 after Marc Egerson took an ill-advised three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the half, and the shot clock off. Ross Neltner pulled down the rebound, and Alex Gordon hit a pull-up jumper with a second left in the half to pull within 39-35.

Vandy pulled within four early in the second half, but never got closer. The Commodores kept the lead in single-digits for most of the half, but a 16-4 Georgetown run that started with Green's two free throws with 6:19 remaining extinguished Vandy's hopes.

Vandy's Stallings had hinted at a more up-tempo game this season, but the Commodores finished with just four fast-break points.

Meanwhile, Egerson locked down Foster most of the evening. Foster missed all five shots from the field and had three turnovers in 26 minutes.

Gordon, who lost his starting point guard job to Jermaine Beal, led Vandy in scoring with 15 points. Neltner, the LSU transfer who made his debut on Wednesday, led Vandy with eight rebounds.

The Commodores travel to Wake Forest on November 21 before returning home to face Elon on the 25th.


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