This game had all the makings of an awesome Vanderbilt collapse. The Commodores had the ball up by two on Oregon State and with a minute remaining. As the shot clock wound down, Lance Goulbourne turned the ball over, giving up a chance to extend the Vandy lead and widening the ulcers of fans across America.
The Beavers got the ball back, and Ahmad Starks delivered, hitting a jumper to tie the game and put Vandy's backs against the wall. The familiar feelings of last year's last-minute struggles rushed back as the 'Dores settled in and waited for an opportunity. Brad Tinsley wasn't having any of that.
Tinsley's jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner when Jared Cunningham's last-ditch jumper fell into Goulbourne's arms, giving Vanderbilt the 64-62 victory over Oregon State. The win secured the TicketCity Legends Classic title for the Commodores and gave this Vandy team a bit more validation after last week's surprising upset at the hands of Cleveland State.
The game that was supposed to be a high-scoring shootout turned out to be a slow-paced battle that saw each team patiently wait to exploit their opposing defenses. Vanderbilt missed several opportunities to open up a big lead against the Beavers, but fortunately their inability to string together runs ended up not hurting the team in the end. This was also a recurring theme in Saturday night's game with North Carolina State.
Steve Tchiengang had his best game at center as a Commodore in the win, helping to limit Oregon State's big men to just six points and seven rebounds while scoring an efficient nine points without missing a shot. He also added five rebounds while staying out of foul trouble.
John Jenkins led the team in scoring with 14 points, while Devon Collier was the game's leader with 19 points on just 11 field goal attempts. Vanderbilt only got to the line six times in a game that featured relatively few fouls, especially after the Beavers combined for 62 total fouls against Texas on Saturday. Jeffery Taylor had 13 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Lance Goulbourne narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and rebounds, but also totaled a surprisingly high six turnovers.
Vanderbilt will have a chance to roll their momentum over into a Friday showdown with Monmouth. The New Jersey school is 0-4 on the season and has yet to keep any of their games to within 32 points. So, if current trends hold true, that game will be tied at the half.