56 fouls. A rare quadruple-technical. Five players fouling out of the game.
That was the game in Oxford on Saturday night: a game in which the officials took over, turning the game into a free throw shooting contest which Vanderbilt ultimately lost because the Commodores made just 17-of-27 free throws, while Ole Miss made 27-of-38. That, combined with what have been this team's usual bugaboos -- turnovers and defensive rebounding -- allowed Ole Miss to overcome shooting 36 percent from the floor, including a putrid 5-of-25 night from their star player Stefan Moody, to prevail 85-78.
Also, Nolan Cressler accounted for eight of Vanderbilt's 27 free throw attempts and made four. Wait, what? Why was Nolan Cressler playing enough to get to the foul line eight times?
Because of all the fouls, that's why! Three Vanderbilt players fouled out of the game, and two of those -- Damian Jones and Jeff Roberson -- played just 17 and 16 minutes, respectively. Vanderbilt led 37-26 with 2:51 to go in the first half, before Ole Miss closed the half on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to two at halftime. Here are the players on the floor for Vanderbilt during that stretch: Wade Baldwin IV, Luke Kornet, Riley LaChance (subbed out for Camron Justice about halfway through), Nolan Cressler, and Josh Henderson.
The lack of quality depth has been another problem for Vanderbilt this season, and with the refs behaving as though they needed to call a foul every time down the floor, that meant that the "lack of quality depth" was playing an inordinate amount of minutes for Vanderbilt last night.
Which, all that said, Vanderbilt actually did shoot pretty well from the floor, and did a fine job of keeping Stefan Moody in check -- yes, Moody had 23 points, but he attempted 25 field goals and 10 free throws so we'll call it a win that he only had 23.
And of the Rebels' 19 offensive boards, seven were of the "team rebound" variety. I'd have to go back and watch the game again to figure out just what was going on with all the "team rebounds" (usually meaning missed shots that go out of bounds), but that would require subjecting myself to that torturous two-and-a-half-hour game again.
|Wade Baldwin IV||38||5||10||2||5||7||7||1||5||6||5||19||9||2||1||2||32.7||0.86|
- Honestly, at least if Nolan Cressler is going to play, he was having a decent night.
- You know, other than (according to Jeff Goodman) "delivering the first blow" in the melee that resulted in four technical fouls. Which was really incidental contact... you know what, forget it, I'm just gonna post the video:
LMAOOO #4 FOR VANDERBILT IS A LEGEND pic.twitter.com/vPqtjuyLer— yung facts (@mynameisclay) February 7, 2016
- I'm really just not sure what Wade got a technical for there. Refs didn't like his dance moves, I guess. Anyway, Wade and Luke were really about the only guys who played well.
- Damian Jones committed four turnovers; two of those occurred on 3 seconds violations. Those might be the only two 3 seconds violations called in a Vanderbilt game this season.
- Jeff Roberson's turnover was on a moving screen foul, which occurred immediately after an Ole Miss player prevented Camron Justice from cutting by grabbing a fistful of his jersey. Did I mention the officiating was terrible?
Vanderbilt returns to Memorial Gym on Wednesday night to host Missouri. Missouri is currently 8-15, 1-9 in the SEC, and ranked #191 in the country according to Ken Pomeroy. That puts them one spot ahead of Wofford, whom Vanderbilt beat by a score of 80-56. You know what, guys, if you lose this game we should really give up...