No. 17 Vanderbilt ran past an outclassed Gardner-Webb team on Tuesday night, 98-62, to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Commodores used a pair of overwhelming scoring runs that showcased their depth en route to an affirming non-conference win.
Jeff Roberson tied his career high with 18 points and had eight rebounds against the Bulldogs. Riley LaChance added a stat stuffing smorgasbord of plays, finishing with 13 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Four other Commodores had nine points or more in the decisive victory.
Gardner-Webb got out to a 5-2 lead early, but Luke Kornet helped lead the Commodores on a 24-2 run that established who the Power 5 Conference team was. A six-point response showed that the Bulldogs weren't about to roll over, but they couldn't contend with Vanderbilt's shooting and defense early on. Vandy jumped out to a 46-29 lead at halftime. Kornet had 10 points, but nine different VU players found the bottom of the net in the first half.
That would be it for Kornet's night. He suffered a mild ankle sprain that kept him out of the final 20 minutes, but the Commodores were able to adjust without him. Gardner-Webb took advantage of his absence to cut Vandy's lead to 46-35, but Jeff Roberson and Riley LaChance grabbed the reins of a 15-0 run for which the Bulldogs had no answer. Roberson showed no ill effects of missing the team's first game due to a head injury; he slashed through the GWU defense with drives to the rim and jumpers that suggest a big leap forward for the sophomore in 2015-16.
Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 on the season with the win. Gardner-Webb fell to 0-2. The Commodores will return to the court on Thursday night when they host Stony Brook at Memorial Gym.