Vanderbilt Defeats High Point 81-75 12/15/02

Although High Point's (2-4) Joe Knight dropped 40 points on the Commodores, Vanderbilt proved to be too much Sunday night as the 'Dores (6-2) won 81-75 at Memorial Gym. Sophomore Brian Thornton once again delivered as he scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

To begin the game, head coach Kevin Stallings tinkered with the lineup by giving sophomore David Przybyszewski the start over sophomore Corey Smith. This was the first time of the season Smith was not given the nod to start the game.

With the 'Dores playing a little ragged and trailing by three, Stallings entered a lineup which included all three freshmen Mario Moore, Julian Terrell, and Adam Payton. Moore sparked Vanderbilt when he hit a three-pointer that gave Vanderbilt the lead at 13-11. Vanderbilt would never trail again. Later Payton spotted up from the top of the key and drained another trifecta to extend the lead to seven.

The story of the first half was sophomore guard Joe Knight who torched Vanderbilt for 20 points. Knight, from nearby Columbia, Tenn., scored inside, scored outside, and ended the half with a very long range bomb from over 23 feet to cut the Vanderbilt lead to five.

After leading the team in scoring with seven in the first half, Smith earned a starting spot as the 'Dores opened the second half. The Commodores went to work on the inside, scoring the first eight points of the half to take the lead at 43-30.

There was a concerted effort to get junior Matt Freije involved in the game. After being saddled with early foul trouble and only scoring two points in the first half, Freije was having a hard time finding his rhythm. Eventually, Freije found his shot and finished the game with 12 points.

Knight's second-half performance was just as spectacular as the first. Knight displayed his whole repertoire en route to scoring a career-high 40 points.

Finally, in the 40th minute, the Commodores stopped Knight. With the game still in doubt, junior point guard Russell Lakey stuffed Knight's three-point attempt. The block triggered a fastbreak that concluded with Smith spinning and converting an acrobatic lay-up.

Smith seemed to respond to not starting. Smith finished the game with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and nailed all three of his three-point attempts.

The Commodores hit the road for the holidays as they play at Michigan December 21st at 1:30 pm and at Notre Dame December 30th at 6:30 pm. The next game at Memorial Gym is January 2nd when the Commodores host the No. 25 College of Charleston.

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