Strong Second Half Leads Vanderbilt Over UMass, 78-48
Jan. 3, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Vanderbilt took advantage of UMass' worst shooting performance of the season, defeating the Minutemen, 78-48, on Saturday afternoon at the Leaman Legacy Game at the Mullins Center. The Commodores led by five at the half, but outscored UMass, 50-25, in the second half, while the Minutemen shot 28.6 percent from the floor for the game. UMass falls to 5-8 on the season, while Vanderbilt improves to 11-3.
The Minutemen finished the game 16-for-56 from the floor, including 4-for-23 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt shot 28-for-61 (45.9%) and 8-for-20 from behind the arc.
Proceeds from Saturday's game benefited the Leaman Legacy Fund, in honor of UMass' legendary coach from 1966-1979 who passed away in 2004. His family along with members from the 1960s era UMass teams were honored at halftime.
UMass started the game ice-cold, missing its first six shots from the field, as Vanderbilt built an early 7-2. Gaffney finally scored the Minutemen's first field goal 5:29 into the game on a breakaway dunk following a steal.
The Commodores' lead reached 10 at the 10:44 mark of the half when Brad Tinsley and George Drake hit back-to-back 3-pointers, making it 17-7.
The Minutemen were able to chip away at the lead, thanks to 10 points from Harris, who led all scorers in the first half. Lowe's floater with eight seconds left cut the Vanderbilt lead to five, 28-23, at halftime.
UMass' 28.6 percent (8-28) shooting in the first half, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range, was its poorest shooting half of the season. The Minutemen held Vanderbilt to 37 percent shooting over the first 20 minutes and forced eight turnovers.
Lowe's layup to start the second half got UMass within three points, its closest since the game was 7-4, but Vanderbilt put together a 17-3 run over 3:35 to open up a 45-28 lead. Tinsley hit two 3's, while A.J. Ogilvy scored six points of his own during the run.
The Commodores put together a 12-1 run between the 13:38 and 8:33 marks, upping the lead to 26, 59-33, with 8:34 remaining.
A Lowe 3-pointer at 8:02 ended the Vandy run and gave him 12 of the Minutemen's 13 points in the half up to that point.
The Minutemen return to action next Saturday when they open A-10 play by hosting Dayton at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m.
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