January 22, 2011

Hoops notebook

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-The plan was to go to Festus Ezeli early and often against a St. Mary's team that didn't match up well with him in the post.

But with Ezeli spending most of the day on the bench, and the Commodores beat the Gaels at their own game: shooting.

The Commodores hit half of their 22 3-point attempts and hit 81.3 percent of their foul shots, while holding St. Mary's, which came hit hitting 41.6 of its tries from 3 (seventh in America), to just 6-of-23 behind the arc, as Vanderbilt rolled to an 89-70 win over the Gaels on Saturday afternoon.

John Jenkins hit four of his seven attempts as part of a 19-point day. But Jenkins was one of six Commodores to connect from long distance from Saturday, including a dagger to stop a St. Mary's run that cut a 15-point halftime lead to six. That 3 came afger Ezeli suddenly drew his fourth foul-all coming in the second half's first five minutes-and had to take a seat on the bench.

Ezeli didn't play again, but it wouldn't matter. Jenkins answered with a long dagger from behind the arc, and Lance Goulbourne had one moments later, and then Jenkins threw in another, as VU stretched the lead back to 59-46.

The Gaels had one more run left, as
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