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Auburn 93, Vanderbilt 81: You’re not winning when the other team shoots like that.

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I like when these things are easy to explain.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Auburn Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
FOUR FACTORS Vanderbilt Auburn
eFG 62.30% 71.10%
OR% 19.20% 14.80%
TO% 21.90% 16.40%
FTRate 35.80% 29.80%

Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out why you lost. On Saturday night, the Auburn Tigers shot 17-of-26 from three and had an effective field goal percentage of 71.1%. When the other team is shooting like that, there’s not really much you can do about it: you’re probably going to lose. And it’s not like a ton of those threes were uncontested; you might even argue, with several and-1’s on three-pointers, Vanderbilt was contesting the three too well.

(Of course, I say all that and then I go look and see that LSU had an eFG of 73.2% when we played them last year and we won. But that was a team that finished 10-21, not a top 10 team.)

I could go on, but there’s no real need to put on the thinking-face emoji. Vanderbilt lost because they were playing a Top 10 team on the road that decided to shoot the living crap out of the ball, and it’s a testament to how well the Commodores played that they didn’t lose by 30.

Individual Stats

Player MIN FG FGA 3FG 3FGA FT FTA ORB DRB REB PF PTS AST TO BLK STL AdjGS GS/Min
Jeff Roberson 40 10 17 5 9 5 5 1 9 10 2 30 4 0 0 0 40.2 1.01
Maxwell Evans 29 4 5 2 2 3 4 2 2 4 2 13 1 1 0 1 18.4 0.64
Riley LaChance 36 5 11 1 4 2 3 0 4 4 1 13 6 3 0 2 15.9 0.44
Joe Toye 20 3 3 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 3 9 0 2 0 0 7.6 0.38
Saben Lee 36 4 11 0 1 2 2 0 2 2 3 10 2 4 0 2 3.9 0.11
Djery Baptiste 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 -0.3 -0.1
Ejike Obinna 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 -0.7 -0.24
Clevon Brown 18 2 4 1 1 0 1 1 2 3 3 5 0 4 1 0 -0.9 -0.05
Larry Austin Jr. 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 -1 -0.51
Payton Willis 13 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 -2.2 -0.17
  • It’s deeply unfortunate that Jeff Roberson had his career night in a loss.
  • Maxwell Evans had a good night on the offensive end for basically the second time this season, and the other game was against Houston Baptist. That could be a nice development if it keeps up.
  • Riley LaChance was fine. A takeaway from this game is that if Jeff Roberson and Riley LaChance are on, and one of the supporting players has a good night, it took an otherworldly shooting percentage to beat Vanderbilt.
  • Joe Toye’s shooting percentages are undergoing some regression to the mean. That’s pulled his three-point percentage all the way from 17.5 percent to 21.3 percent over the past three games.
  • Saben Lee wasn’t very good, and then five players posted negative Game Scores, which is not good. Granted, three of those (Larry Austin Jr., Ejike Obinna, and Djery Baptiste) played a combined eight minutes, and Clevon Brown was mostly okay outside of the turnovers.
  • The most memorable thing about Payton Willis’s night was that he committed two fouls on three-point shooters, and both went in.

What’s Next

Well, the worst of the schedule is over. Vanderbilt is done playing Auburn, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and five of the Commodores’ eight remaining games are at home. That starts on Wednesday at 7:30 PM CT, when the Commodores host the Georgia Bulldogs.