Big Blue lose big at Vandy

TSU (3-9) suffered its fourth straight loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores (8-3) on Saturday, the 29th of December 2018. Final score, 95-76. This includes three consecutive double-digit defeats under first-year coach Brian “Penny” Collins. The Tigers fell to 1-7 on the road after getting outscored 55-41 in the second half.

In front of over 9,000 at Memorial Gym, the Commodores shot 50 percent from the floor. Vandy used a 14-2 run to extend its lead to 66-47 midway through the second half. The black and gold outscored TSU 28-18 from the stripe and broke the 90-point mark for the third time this season. The Commodores made six of eight field goals during the run while TSU struggled through a 1 for12 drought.

Saben Lee had it going all day long for the Commodores, who improved to 10-0 against the Tigers. The Vanderbilt sophomore scored a season-high 23 points. Lee was 8 of 9 from the floor. He went 7 of 9 from the stripe. Saben, son of former NFL running back Amp Lee, threw down a one-handed dunk over a Tiger defender midway through the first half. The student section went bonkers. Lee moved from shooting guard, back to point guard, after freshman Darius Garland suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of the season. Garland is projected as a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The Big Blue made 5 of their first 7 shots from three-point range to take a quick 17-7 lead early. However, Vandy would answer with a 16-1 run to take a 38-26 lead late in the half. The Tigers shot just 38 percent from the field. This game was over early.

Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey and Armani Chaney led TSU with 16 points apiece. Chaney also added four three-pointers. Kamar McKnight ended his day with 10 points for the Big Blue.

Senior Joe Toye tied a career high with 18 points, nailing four three-pointers in the process for the black and gold. Vandy’s Simi Shittu also projected as a first-round pick in June’s NBA Draft, finished the game with 10 points and eight rebounds. Syracuse transfer Matthew Moyer added his 10; as five Commodores scored in double figures, including Maxwell Evans with 10.