Huge Second Half Lifts 'Dores Over Lions, 80-58
The Commodores won their 13th straight home opener
as they defeated the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana
80-58 Friday night at Memorial Gym. Vanderbilt was led
by junior Matt Freije's 19 points and 5 rebounds.
Defense was the name of the game in the first half.
SLU, ranked 22 nationally in scoring defense during
2001-02, held the Commodores to just 30 points and caused
15 first half turnovers. During one stretch, the 'Dores
were held scoreless for 3:30. Freije provided most of
the 1st half offense which was highlighted by his first
of two 4-point plays on the night.
Vanderbilt turned up the defensive pressure as well
by holding the Lions to a mere 38% shooting in the first
half. Amir Abdur-Rahim, the Lions returning leading
scorer and brother of NBA star Shareef Abdur-Rahim,
was held scoreless in the first half on 0-8 shooting
and 3 turnovers. At times the intensity was a little
much as the Commodores were whistled for 11 personal
fouls and put SLU in the bonus after only 8:44.
Freshman Julian Terrell made an immediate impact off
the bench. Terrell blocked a shot on his first defensive
possession and then raced down the court to finish with
a thundering dunk to bring the 6,119 Memorial Gym fans
to their feet. Terrell finished the game with 7 points
and 3 rebounds.
After the slow start offensively, the Commodores got
on track in the second half by pounding the ball inside
to sophomore Brian Thornton which helped Vanderbilt
to a 15-2 run. Thornton had his way in the paint as
he scored 15 points and 7 rebounds on 5-8 shooting with
most of his buckets coming at point blank range.
Sophomore Jason Holwerda had a big night as he logged
a career high 12 points with 10 coming in the second
half. Holwerda helped fuel the second half run as he
nailed 1 of his 2 three pointers on the night. Perhaps
the most spectacular play of the game came when freshman
Mario Moore tossed a halfcourt alley-oop to Holwerda
who jammed it through with authority. The 'Dores converted
six dunks on the night.
The Commodores return to action Sunday night at 7 pm
to host Alabama A&M.
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