Texas A&M Too Much For Vanderbilt Without Nesmith in 69-50 Blowout
Playing without injured star Aaron Nesmith, sidelined with what is believed to be a stress fracture in his right foot, and before a crowd of 9,076, the Vanderbilt Commodores offensive limitations were evident against the visiting Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at Memorial Gym as the visitors walked away with a conference win that extended the Commodores conference losing streak 22 consecutive games.
Playing without injured star Aaron Nesmith, sidelined with what is believed to be a stress fracture in his right foot, the Vanderbilt Commodores offensive limitations were on full display throughout their 69-50 loss to the visiting Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at Memorial Gym.
Following the game head coach Jerry Stackhouse acknowledged that Nesmith was done for the season and would be in the walking boot with the scooter for at least six weeks but that the prognosis was for a full recovery and should be one-hundred percent with time.
As for the game itself, it was ugly without Nesmith as the Commodores struggled from the opening tip as the Aggies build an early 10 point advantage powered by a 10-0 run in which the Commodores failed to score for 3:27 before the halfway mark of the first half.
The Aggies would build a fifteen point advantage, 32-17 when both teams then began to struggle to score. The Commodores endured another 3:01 minute scoring drought while the Aggies suffered through a 3:55 drought last in the first half.
Entering the game, the Aggies were one of the worst shooting teams in the nation, but on the strength of a season-high 54% shooting from the floor, the visitors took a 36-20 lead into the halftime locker room. Conversely, the Commodores struggled, shooting just 24%, 6 of 25 from the field in the first half.
Andre Gordon led the Aggies scoring int the first half. Jay Jay Chandler added eight in the half. Scottie Pippen Jr. paced the Commodores with 6 in the first half as he was two of three from behind the arc in the half.
Along with the absence of Nesmith, and Clevon Brown who is still sidelined with a knee injury, Stackhouse was forced to go deep into the Commodores bench, and at one point in the first half walk-ons Branlee Albert and Jon Jossell, a former team manager were both on the floor together wich each seeing four minutes of playing time in the half.
The second half would be a continuation as the Commodores offense struggles followed them throughout the final twenty minutes, so much so that with Maxwell Evens three-pointer with 4:37 remaining saved Vanderbilt from tying or setting a new low point mark in recent years as they surpassed 38 points, the total number they scored versus Tennessee on March 1, 2014.
Ejike Obinna, led the Commodores in scoring with a season-high 12 points, and tied his career-high in rebounds with seven and set a career-high in minutes with 32 while Maxwell Evans also managed double figures, finishing the game with 12 points.
Saben Lee, who entered the game averaging 16.6 ppg was consistently the target of double and triple teams by the Aggies as he finished the game with 4 points. It was just the second time this season he has been held below double digits in a game.
The Commodores finished the game shooting just 15 of 50 from the floor, surpassing a low mark of 35% for a single game set earlier this season.
The Aggies, who have struggled this season shooting from outside had no such issues today, finishing the game 30-57 for 53%, which was a season-high shooting percentage in a single game for them this season.
Gordon led the Aggies with 15 pints on the afternoon, CHandler added 10 while Jay Jay Chandler finished with 9 points as the Aggies improved to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
With the loss, the Commodores slip to 8-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play and return to action one week from today as they host Tennessee with tipoff set for 5 pm.