Second Half Shooting Dooms Commodores in 66-45 Loss To Volunteers

Greg Arias

The Vanderbilt Commodores streak of 1,080 consecutive games with a made three-point basket came to an end Saturday as the Tennessee Volunteers walked away from Memorial Gym with a 66-45 win. The Commodores had multiple chances to keep the streak alive but missed multiple wide-open looks but could not connect, finishing the game 0-25 from long range. 

Scottie Pippen Jr. led the Commodores with 16 while Saben Lee finished with 14 points, they were the only Vanderbilt players in double figures. 

For the visiting Volunteers, Jordan Bowden led them, and all scorers in the contest with 21 points as the Volunteers improve to 11-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.  

The first half got off to a slow start as both teams struggled with turnovers as the Commodores committed two, the Volunteers three before each team managed to score their first points of the contest.  

The defenses continued to control the game as neither team could generate many baskets. They two went into the 11:59 media timeout tied at 9-9 almost halfway through the first half.  

That final 11:59 provided little more in terms of scoring as Tennessee took a 21-20 lead to the halftime locker room. 

The Commodores shot just 6 of 27 from the floor for 22% in the half while the Volunteers managed 10 of 25 for 40% through the first twenty minutes. 

Scottie Pippen Jr. led the Commodores scoring in the first half with seven points while Saben Lee finished with four, but placed his name in the Vanderbilt record books as the 49th player in school history to score 1,000 or more points in their careers. 

Jordan Bowden, lead the Volunteers with seven in the half as the two teams played well defensively while struggling to score points.   

The start of the second half was not kind to the Commodores as the offensive struggles continued while Tennessee went on a 10-0 run to increase their lead to 31-20 before Pippen Jr. found his way to the basket for a field goal and was fouled.  He would hit the free-throw to trim the lead to 31-23 with 15:44 remaining in the game. 

From there it was all Volunteers as the Commodores offense found little success in the second half as they managed just 25 points in the second half after scoring only 20 in the first.  

In the end, shooting doomed the Commodores as the finished the game just 12 of 51 from the floor for 23.5% from the floor while the visitors from Knoxville connected on 26 of 49 for 53.1% in the win. 

The Commodores now turn their attention to Alabama as the Crimson Tide visit Memorial Gym Wednesday in an 8 pm tipoff. Alabama will enter the game off back-to-back wins, having upset formerly unbeaten Auburn earlier this week and knocking off Missouri earlier today. Both wins were in Tuscaloosa. 

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