When Vanderbilt trailed to Bucknell with less than three minutes to play in the first half, it was easy to conjure up thoughts of Sunday's loss to Cleveland State. The Commodores' made sure that there wouldn't be a repeat of that disappointment in the second half.
Five players, including freshman Kedren Johnson, scored double-digit points and Vandy's bench performed well in a 80-68 win over Bucknell Tuesday night. The team was without John Jenkins, who didn't dress due to an ankle injury. Lance Goulbourne and Brad Tinsley also dealt with nagging problems throughout the game, leaving the 'Dores with just one healthy starter. Jeffery Taylor led all scorers with 14 points.
Vanderbilt outclassed Bucknell on the glass, using their size advantage to provide scoring opportunities throughout the night. The Commodores pulled down 13 offensive rebounds and attempted 17 more shots than the Bison in the win. Lance Goulbourne finished one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 12 points and leading the team with nine boards.
Johnson put together an inspiring performance, putting together a 12-3-2 line in just 23 minutes of play in the backcourt. Dai-Jon Parker was also impressive in spurts, including one explosive block in the second half. However, he also chucked up 10 shots and missed all but two of them - including a 1-7 performance from behind the line. The bench combined for 35 points after scoring just nine against Cleveland State.
The victory puts Vanderbilt back in the win column and gives them momentum for Saturday's showdown with North Carolina State. If they win there, they'll likely face Texas for the TicketCity Legends Championship, despite losing to Cleveland State in the opening round. Sorry, Cleveland State.