Vanderbilt keeps up defense, hangs on at South Carolina

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 11:41pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt didn’t score over the last 3:49. It didn’t matter.

The cushion the Commodores built over the first 36 minutes was enough to hold on for a 67-57 road victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night.

Thanks to a stifling a defense Vanderbilt (12-4, 2-0 SEC) crafted a 24-point second-half lead and never looked back.

One game removed from allowing 35 points against Auburn, Vanderbilt gave up just 12 in the first half – the fewest since a 42-11 halftime lead against Kentucky on Feb. 12, 2008.

South Carolina (8-8, 0-2) shot 19.2 percent (5-of-26) in the first half as Vanderbilt led by 10 at halftime.

Senior guard Brad Tinsley sparked the Commodores early as he scored 11 of his 13 points before halftime. He nailed two 3-pointers and knocked down a fastbreak jumper to lead Vanderbilt on a 16-6 run over the last 10:11 of the first half.

John Jenkins had a game-high 14 points and four 3-pointers. Jeffery Taylor chipped in 11 and knocked down three treys. Steve Tchiengang scored a season-high 10 points off the bench.

Tinsley also had nine assists and Lance Goulbourne grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Commodores continued their recent hot shooting from 3-point range, hitting 59.1 percent (13-of-22).

Vanderbilt returns to Memorial Gymnasium to host Georgia at 3 p.m. Saturday.