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