Who would have thought that we could have written a headline like this barely a week ago? Certainly not me. I was getting a bit depressed about the whole state of Vanderbilt basketball.
Looks like the 'Dores decided to turn things around.
ALABAMA 74, VANDERBILT 79
On Thursday, Vanderbilt hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide and ESPN2 in a nationally-televised bout that featured multiple lead changes and a come-from-behind victory for the good guys.
Vanderbilt was able to pull it out, 79-74, but it was not one of the Commodores' better performances.
"It wasn't a thing of beauty," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "We desperately needed a win."
Stallings' desperation comes from the Black and Gold's current SEC record: a paltry 2-5 record that advanced to 3-5.
And while it is probable that Stallings will not be letting up on his players with the Commodores sitting at .375 in conference play, there was a sense of relief in the coach after the win.
"I was proud of how our guys battled," Stallings said. "It was like last Saturday at Auburn, when we couldn't make free throws."
Twin, twenty-point performances by Jermaine Beal and A.J. Ogilvy combined to account for literally half of the Commodores' points (give or take a point), but the rest of the team struggled to make a difference offensively.
OLE MISS 61, VANDERBILT 71
Today, the Commodores won their third straight, beating a hot Ole Miss team on the strength of four men in Black and Gold scoring in double-digits.
It was a much more balanced performance by the Commodores. A.J. Ogilvy led the team with 17 points, while Jeff Taylor (14), Brad Tinsley (12), and Lance Goulbourne (11) added double figures as well.
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings liked what he saw.
"Our guys came out with a sense of urgency," Stallings said. "We played better. Maybe we're starting to find our consistency."
With their third win in a row, the Commodores have now advanced to 4-5 in the SEC.
The Black and Gold next face archrival Tennessee in Knoxville, with a chance to go .500 in conference play.