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Vanderbilt guts out win over South Carolina, 71-62

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The Commodores are back over .500 for the first time since early January.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt looked dead after a four-game losing streak in January, but quietly, the Commodores picked up their fifth win in the last seven games with a 71-62 win over South Carolina at Memorial Gym on Saturday night.

The Commodores improved their record to 14-13 on the season — the first time Vanderbilt has ended the day over .500 since January 9 — and they also improved their SEC record to 7-7.

The game was an ugly one, with the teams combining for as many fouls (44) as made baskets, but the difference was that Vanderbilt’s defense came up big in the second half, holding the Gamecocks to just 1-of-9 from beyond the arc (and that came after the game was already basically decided while also blocking eight shots. Freshman Clevon Brown had three of those blocks — a new career high — and Matthew Fisher-Davis led the Commodores in scoring with 17 points.

Up next, Vanderbilt heads to the greatest city on earth (sarcasm), Knoxville, Tennessee, for a Wednesday night matchup against those who shall not be named. Tipoff will be an early one, 5:30 PM CT, and the game will be carried on the SEC Network.

(Also, 359 comments in the game thread tonight? Good job, everyone.)