Vanderbilt Guns Down East Tennessee State, 86-77

Saturday, December 22, 2001

Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 22, 2001) - Vanderbilt used some hot outside shooting, canning 11 three-point shots and placing five players in double figures, as the Commodores dealt East Tennessee State an 86-77 loss this afternoon in Memorial Gym in men's basketball action. The loss broke a six-game winning streak for the Buccaneers in their final non-conference game of the season. Both teams had trouble finding their offensive rhythms in the first minutes of the game. Michael Tolliver (Bremo Bluff, Va.) got the Bucs an early 2-0 lead with his jumper at the 19:23 mark, but neither team could put together a run in the early minutes. After missing their first four treys of the contest, the Commodore's Chuck Moore hit one that capped off a 11-2 run that put Vanderbilt (9-3) up 15-6 at the 11:33 mark. After that the Commodores hit four of their next seven long-range shots, holding off any attempt by ETSU to cut into the Vandy lead. Freshman Tiras Wade (Tampa, Fla.) kept ETSU (7-4) in the game in the first half, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the first 20 minutes, hitting 5-of-6 shots, including a heave from beyond half court that hit nothing but net as time expired in the half, cutting the Vandy lead to 43-36. East Tennessee State's defensive pressure at the start of the second half got the Bucs back in the game, leading ETSU to a 7-0 run to start the half that was capped by Ryan Lawson's (Rogersville, Tenn.) steal and layup with 16:30 to play that tied the game. David Przybyszewski hit a three-pointer that put Vanderbilt back up by three, but a jumper by Tolliver and a layup by Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) and ETSU had a 47-46 lead. That would prove to be the last hurrah for ETSU, however, as Vandy regrouped and proceeded to outscore the Bucs 10-0 over the next four and a half minutes to regain both the lead and the momentum in the game. ETSU got it back down to a two-point lead on a layup by Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) at 56-54 with 9:38 to play, but Vanderbilt rebuilt the lead back to 11 points, highlighted by a pair of threes from Moore, and the Commodores led 72-61 with 4:45 to go. From there Vandy hit 7-of-10 free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bucs. East Tennessee State won the rebounding battle, outrebounding Vandy by a 41-35 margin. Wade led the Bucs with his 17 points, while Fields and Wadood each recorded double-doubles, with Fields accounting for 13 points and 10 boards, while Wadood came up with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tolliver increased his career-high in points with 11 for the Bucs. Vanderbilt outshot ETSU, 52 percent to 42 percent, and were led by Moore's 19 points.
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WCC NCAA South Regional Tallahassee, Fla.
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