College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Jeffery Taylor scored more than a third of Vanderbilt's points in the Commodores' 65-47 road win over Tennessee.
Taylor, a four year starter, pumped in a game high 23 points, making all three of his 3-pointers while going 8-for-14 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line. The 6'7" forward also collected four steals and had nine rebounds, three on the offensive boards.
Vanderbilt displayed a scrappy, disruptive defense, holding the Volunteers to just 35% shooting while forcing a ridiculous 25 Tennessee turnovers. Vanderbilt raced off to a 40-21 lead at the break and were never challenged in the second half, dropping Tennessee to 1-4 in the conference.
The 15-5 Commodores are unranked, owing to consecutive losses to Xavier and Louisville at the end of November and start of December and a 61-55 loss to Indiana State on December 17, though the squad has since won nine of their last ten and trail the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC race by one game. Top-ranked Kentucky had a road win of their own Tuesday night, topping Georgia, 57-44, to improve to 20-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference. Vanderbilt is 5-1 in SEC play.
With Vandy and Kentucky apparently headed for a showdown, fans of the cross-border rivalry will have to wait until mid-February to see whether the Commodores have the grit to hang with the powerful Wildcats. Vandy hosts Kentucky on February 11, and then visits the wildcats on February 25.