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Vanderbilt 81, Arizona State 65: Wherein Yanni Wetzell saves us all

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Vanderbilt got help from surprising places on Monday night.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Four Factors

Four Factors Vanderbilt Arizona State
Four Factors Vanderbilt Arizona State
eFG % 54.55% 37.69%
OR % 19.44% 28.89%
TO % 13.89% 13.89%
FT Rate 52.73% 30.77%

After the first few minutes of Monday night’s game, you would never have thought that the two teams’ respective shooting percentages would end up looking like that. Vanderbilt, after a 2-for-11 start from three, shot 10-for-17 from behind the stripe the rest of the way.

The first half was one of runs: Arizona State jumped out to a 9-0 lead; then Vanderbilt went on a 10-2 run; then Arizona State had another 9-0 run; then Vanderbilt finished the half on an 18-3 run. In the second half, Vanderbilt slowly built a lead, but Arizona State came within three with just under four minutes left.

And then Vanderbilt closed. The Commodores got a couple of big buckets and a couple of big defensive stops, one of them this:

(Also, CDA, it’s Wetzell with two L’s.)

Vanderbilt closed the game on a 19-6 run and the final score made everyone almost forget that we had reason to panic with four minutes left. Either way, though, this win was extremely satisfying. Let’s get to the weirdness in the individual stats.

Individual Stats

Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PTS PF AST TO BLK STL GmSc AdjGS GS/Min
Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PTS PF AST TO BLK STL GmSc AdjGS GS/Min
Yanni Wetzell 21 3 5 1 2 5 5 1 4 5 12 3 1 1 2 0 11.5 16.20 0.77
Saben Lee 29 2 3 1 2 9 12 0 5 5 14 2 3 4 0 0 10.3 14.51 0.50
Aaron Nesmith 27 5 10 3 5 0 2 1 4 5 13 3 1 0 1 0 9.3 13.10 0.49
Joe Toye 23 4 8 3 4 0 0 1 1 2 11 3 0 0 0 2 8.8 12.40 0.54
Max Evans 17 3 5 2 3 0 0 0 4 4 8 0 3 1 0 0 8 11.27 0.66
Simi Shittu 37 4 10 0 1 1 2 0 7 7 9 3 4 2 0 1 5.9 8.31 0.22
Matt Ryan 24 2 11 2 9 5 6 0 1 1 11 1 1 0 0 0 4.3 6.06 0.25
Clevon Brown 12 1 1 0 0 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 0 1 1 0 2.2 3.10 0.26
Matthew Moyer 10 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 -2.8 -3.94 -0.39
57.5
  • Do you want an amazing, dumb stat? Yes, you do. By my count, in Yanni Wetzell’s 21 minutes on the floor, Vanderbilt outscored Arizona State by a score of 58 to 20. (Don’t do the math and figure out what the score was when Wetzell was on the bench. You know, for your own sanity.) That might just be random chance, but considering Wetzell posted the team’s highest Game Score — in just 21 minutes — it’s probably not.
  • Saben Lee managed to (a) be the team’s leading scorer and (b) posted the second-highest Game Score while being frustrating to watch play. Part of that was that Lee kept getting sent to the foul line in the game’s closing minutes.
  • Good nights for Aaron Nesmith, Joe Toye, and Max Evans. Evans, along with Wetzell, provided the team its spark in the run to close the first half.
  • Not a terrific night from Simi Shittu, though he did play 37 minutes and got the team a big bucket when Arizona State was threatening late in the second half.
  • Has Matt Ryan ever met a shot he didn’t like?
  • Fairly quiet night from Clevon Brown, and Matthew Moyer was mostly invisible.

What’s Next

Vanderbilt heads to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to play what’s really a road game against Kansas State; in fact, this is the second leg of a home-and-home that started in Nashville last season. Kansas State is 7-2 on the season, but scored 46 points in a loss to Tulsa last Saturday and feels like a bit of a disappointment — and is now without its best player. Game time will be at 6:00 PM CT on Saturday, and the game will be televised on ESPN2.