It was starting to get ugly.
The Commodores -- admittedly a very young team! -- have just seemed unable to get their heads screwed on straight of late.
First, a loss in Starkville. Then a loss to the Arnge Jacket at Memorial. A blowout loss to the Gators in Memorial. And a loss to the Gamecocks in Columbia.
Going into this afternoon's game against the Auburn Tigers, Vanderbilt hadn't won a men's basketball game in 17 days.
There wasn't much hope for change when going down to the Plains today, either. But somehow, the Commodores managed to pull away with a very close win.
Things were cooking at first, with the Black and Gold lighting it up with a 16-5 run on the Tigers. At the half, the Commodores led the Tigers by 4, with the difference coming from their points-off-the-bench. Vanderbilt's second-string contributed 10, while Auburn's backups added 5.
The Plainsmen came out of the break charging, basically keeping the score tied for almost 3 minutes. The Commodores again surged ahead, but outpaced the Tigers by less than 6 points.
With 7:34 left in the game, Auburn's Tay Waller put the Tigers ahead again with a clutch three-pointer.
The Commodores kept battling, though, and Brad Tinsley's go-ahead free throws gave the Men from West End a lead they'd never surrender.
Jermaine Beal led the Commodores with 21 points; A.J. Ogilvy and Jeff Taylor each added 14. Vanderbilt went 10-17 from three-point range, scoring 30 points from behind the arc.
With the win, the Black and Gold move to 13-8 and a still-disappointing 2-5 in SEC play. Their next game will be on February 5, back in the not-so-friendly-this-year confines of Memorial Gym against the Crimson Tide of Alabama.