Ole Miss enters the game with an overall record of 12-4
and a 3-3 mark in the SEC after suffering a 58-57 home
loss to Mississippi State Wednesday. Prior to Wednesdayís
loss, the Rebels had won three straight, including victories
at LSU and over Alabama.
Juniors Aaron Harper and Justin Reed lead the team
in scoring with 14.4 points per game apiece. Reed is
the squadís leading rebounder with 5.8 boards per contest.
Senior David Sanders and freshman Trey Pearson share
the team lead in assists at 3.4 per game.
Excluding the two newest members of the SEC, Arkansas
and South Carolina, Ole Miss is tied with Mississippi
State for the fewest wins in Nashville among SEC squads
with seven. Last year, the Rebels ended a Vanderbilt
three-game winning streak with a 73-61 defeat of the
Commodores in Oxford, Miss. Two years ago in Memorial
Gym, the Rebels defeated Vanderbilt 81-68 to earn their
first Nashville win over the Commodores since the 1984-85
In defeating No. 15 Georgia, the Commodores beat the
team with the nationís top RPI ranking...Vanderbilt
is now 1-4 when their opponents shoot better than 50
percent...VU has grabbed seven offensive rebounds in
each of the past five games...Freshman Julian Terrell
has played a career-high 21 minutes in the past two
games...Terrell, who got his second career start subbing
for the injured Corey Smith, grabbed seven rebounds...VUís
12 turnovers is the third fewest this season...This
was the first win in three games in which the Commodore
bench was outscored...In the second straight game without
starting, Russell Lakey scored eight points on 3-of-3
shooting and also tallied four assists to just one turnover...Points
in the paint: VU 324, UGA 34...Points off turnovers:
VU 13, UGA 17...Second-chance points: VU 11, UGA 12...Fastbreak
points: VU 6, UGA 22.
Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have played two common opponents
with both teams posting 1-1 marks against those teams.
Opponent VU UM
Alabama W, 70-69 W, 76-57
Tennessee L, 66-71 L, 64-66
Scores Career-High in Upset of No. 15 Georgia
Junior Matt Freije tallied a career-high 31 points and
grabbed nine rebounds in leading Vanderbilt to a 94-91
upset victory over No. 15 Georgia. He is Vanderbiltís
first 30-point scorer since Dan Langhi scored 31 points
against Georgia March 1, 2000.
Freije finished the game 11-of-15 from the field, including
hitting a career-best five three-pointers in eight attempts.
He also was 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. This was
the eighth time in his career that he missed recording
a double-double by just one rebound.
Freije scored 19 of his points in the first half on
7-of-10 shooting. The 19 first-half points is better
than all but four of Freije game totals this season.
Commodores Find Three-Point Stroke
After facing some inconsistency from three-point range
during the early part of the season, the Commodores
have rebounded from behind the arc. In the past five
games, VU has made 51.9 percent (42-81) of its three-point
shots and has not made less than eight treys in any
of those five contests.
For the season, Vanderbilt is shooting 35.7 percent
from threepoint range and is averaging 6.12 three-pointers
Makes Most of Opportunity
With Corey Smith unavailable, Scott Hundley and Julian
Terrell were given more of an opportunity to help the
Commodores. While Terrellís play was solid, it was Hundley
that truly made his mark.
Playing a career-high 24 minutes, Hundley scored a
season-high 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and pocketed
a career-best four steals. He also recorded career-highs
with his 8-of-9 performance from the free-throw line.
His 4-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe in the final
10 seconds of the game secured the Vanderbilt victory.
Vanderbilt Leans on Late Free-Throw Shooting
Despite not making a field goal in the final 3:15 against
Georgia, Vanderbilt was able to defeat the Bulldogs,
94-91, on the strength of 11-of-14 shooting from the
free-throw line. Hundley did the lionís share of the
work, hitting 5-of-6 free throws. Also helping to secure
the win were Brian Thornton (3-4), Russell Lakey (2-2)
and Matt Freije (1-2).
Smith Out of Action
Sophomore Corey Smith is currently listed as day-to-day
after breaking a bone in hand during practice Jan. 24.
The fracture is in his left, non-shooting hand. Smith
had started 15-of-16 games before missing the Georgia
Vanderbilt Playing Nationís 14th Toughest Schedule
As of Monday, CollegeRPI.com has Vanderbiltís schedule
ranked as the 14th toughest in the nation. Only Georgia
(1), Arkansas (3), South Carolina (7) and Alabama (8)
have tougher schedules in the SEC.
This season VU has played seven teams ranked in the
Top-16 of the national polls, including Connecticut
(12), Indiana (6), Notre Dame (6), Alabama (4), Kentucky
(16), Florida (5) and Georgia (15).