Jeffery Taylor had 22 points and Lance Goulbourne posted three blocks in his first game back from suspension as Vanderbilt routed Davidson 80-52 on Sunday afternoon. Four Commodores scored in double-digits in the team's most lopsided win since defeating Grambling in November. Davidson's starters combined for only 17 total points in the loss.
The Commodores led by as much as 31 points in the first half of a game that was never in question. Even without John Jenkins (possible concussion) and Andre Walker (ankle injury), Vanderbilt rolled past a borderline Top 100 team. Even with bad games from Festus Ezeli and temporary starter Rod Odom, the team was able to close out their early out-of-conference slate on a high note.
Odom, Ezeli, and Goulbourne combined to shoot just 4-19 from the field, but solid performances from Taylor and this team's cast of role players kept the team's momentum intact from Wednesday's big win over Marquette. Brad Tinsley had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Steve Tchiengang scored 14 efficient points - including two "Thunder Threes" - as a reserve. Freshman point guard Kyle Fuller had his best game as a Commodore, scoring six points and adding five assists and three rebounds in the win.
The victory bumps Vanderbilt's record to 11-2 with wins over teams like North Carolina, Marquette, and Nebraska (Pomeroy Rank #40). The team has a legitimate claim as the best team in the SEC; though Kentucky, with an equal 11-2 record and big wins over Notre Dame, Washington, and Louisville, has an equally strong argument. The 'Dores will start their SEC schedule next Saturday at South Carolina, a team similarly rated as Davidson.
Vanderbilt's 11 out-of-conference wins will go a long way in determining their NCAA Tournament status, especially with two neutral-court victories over RPI Top 50 teams. The team's SEC East schedule, with home-and-home games against Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky, will provide a gauntlet of tough opponents during the team's quest for a league title. The Commodores - currently ranked 24th in the AP poll - have made a strong case for their inclusion as one of the country's best teams. By blasting the Wildcats today, they took another step towards proving that they belong in the big dance this March.