Vanderbilt 62, LSU 50

Jeffery Taylor scored 21 points and Vanderbilt held on for an

ugly 62-50 win over LSU Thursday night in the opening round of the

Southeastern Conference tournament, even without the league’s top


Guard John Jenkins, averaging more than 19 points a game, sat

out after tweaking his left foot in the regular-season finale

against Florida last weekend. He went through warmups, and school

officials said he was available if needed.

He wasn’t needed, though.

After a sluggish start, the Commodores (22-9) pulled away to

lead by as many as 14 in the first half. They stretched the margin

to 20 points against last-place LSU (11-21), which closed out its

second straight 20-loss season after winning the SEC title in


Andre Stringer led the Tigers with 13 points.

Chris Bass hit a jumper with 4:04 remaining, cutting

Vanderbilt’s lead to 58-50. The Tigers didn’t score again, an

appropriate ending to a dismal season. LSU failed to score on seven

straight possessions, failing to slice into the deficit while the

Commodores also were limping to the finish.

Finally, Andre Walker knocked down a pair of free throws with

50.9 seconds remaining to seal the victory. The Commodores won even

though their last field goal came with 5:35 left.

Vanderbilt, which most believe has already locked up an NCAA

bid, advanced to face Mississippi State in the quarterfinals Friday


Without Jenkins providing a threat on the outside, the

Commodores made only 3 of 22 from beyond the 3-point arc. Overall,

they shot just 36 percent (20 of 55).

But LSU, with three freshman starters and little depth or size,

couldn’t take advantage. The Tigers made only 18 of 59 (31 percent)

and were outrebounded 48-32.

Festus Ezeli and Brad Tinsley added 10 points apiece for

Vanderbilt, while Lance Goulbourne pulled down 13 rebounds. For

LSU, Storm Warren had 12 points and Eddie Ludwig chipped in with