Unlike some earlier games against outmatched opponents, Vanderbilt didn't blow this one wide open.
And yet, in spite of that, this game was never really in doubt. Vanderbilt trailed for all of 29 seconds early in the first half, then methodically put Western Michigan away: after leading 37-28 at halftime, Western Michigan kept things respectable for a few minutes of the second half before Vanderbilt started to build a lead. About midway through the second half, Commodore freshman Joe Toye threw down a thunderous dunk to give Vanderbilt a 59-42 lead; then, on the next possession, Toye dropped home an alley-oop from Wade Baldwin IV, who collected one of his ten assists to go along with a game-high 15 points.
That prompted WMU coach Steve Hawkins to call a timeout, but the damage was done; Western Michigan was done threatening for the night after that. The Broncos kept the margin right around 17 the rest of the way until an 8-2 run to close out the game for an 86-61 Commodore win.
Baldwin wasn't the only Commodore to notch a double-double; Jeff Roberson chipped in 11 points and 10 boards. Ten Commodores scored, with five scoring in double figures.
The Commodores return to Memorial Gym on Saturday night to open SEC play against Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers. Tip time is 8 PM CT.