Florida ambushes Vandy, 86-64
Andre Walker defends (AP/Phil Sandlin)
Andre Walker defends (AP/Phil Sandlin)

Posted Jan 27, 2008

The Vanderbilt Commodores lost their third Southeastern Conference game in five attempts on Sunday falling 86-64 to the Florida Gators in Gainesville. Vanderbilt drops to 17-3 (2-3 SEC) as another tough SEC road trip, this time to Ole Miss, looms.

This one was all Gators from start to finish. They put together a 23-0 run in the first 12 minutes of the game to open a 34-6 lead. "We obviously got overwhelmed during the first 12 minutes of the game and we were never able to recover. We were not as emotionally ready to play as they were. They were faster to the ball and were the quicker and more aggressive team. That is a sure recipe for defeat on the road. We were outplayed and outcoached," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game. The Commodores missed 15 of their first 18 shots, and the Gators’ press defense forced the Commodores into 8 turnovers in the first 13 minutes.

The closest the Commodores could get for the rest of the game was 13 with just over a minute left in the first half, but Florida’s Chandler Parsons ended that run on a dunk with just under a minute to go before the intermission.

"You know it is hard to put your finger on it. They were coming down, hitting shot after shot and getting easy buckets under the basket. We kind of got caught up in the moment I guess. We didn't fight back. I was like `Wow." I couldn't believe it. I really couldn't believe it," Shan Foster said after the game. Foster was held to zero points in the first half and just 7 for the game. The Gators also did a great job on freshman center A.J. Ogilvy who finished the game with just 9 points before fouling out with just over 3 minutes to go in the game. He was outplayed the whole game by Florida’s Marreese Speights.

Alex Gordon led the Commodores in scoring with 13. He had this to say about Florida’s run to open the game, "We turned the ball over and missed layups. We didn't fight for that period. We cut it down to 15 but we just didn't fight. Being on this team you always think you have a chance to come back." The Commodores also got 10 from freshman Andre Walker.

All five of the Gators’ starters were in double figures. Walter Hodge led the way with 19, followed by Nick Calathes with 15, Dan Werner with 14, Speights with 12 and Jai Lucas with 11.

Stallings knows his team has got to get back to the fundamentals to have success in SEC play, "We should have played better, made our lay-ups, got the ball inside, got fouled, got to the foul line and made some free throws. We did not do any of these things."

It does not get any easier for the Commodores in the coming week. They will need to put this loss behind them quickly because they travel to Oxford Wednesday night to take on the #15 ranked Ole Miss Rebels. That game tips off at 7:00.

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