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December 29, 2006

Vandy pounds Alabama A&M on Friday

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Vanderbilt (9-4) got 20 points from Derrick Byars, and held Alabama A&M (5-6) to 35 percent shooting in blowing out the visiting Bulldogs 86-47 at Memorial Gym on Friday night.

Three-point shooting provided much of the margin of victory for the Commodores, who went 11-of-25 behind the arc while holding A&M to 1-of-14 on 3-pointers.

Dan Cage hit 3-of-4 three-pointers in scoring 11 points for Vandy. Jermaine Beal and Shan Foster each added 12 for the Commodores. Trant Simpson led A&M with 17.

"The game tonight wasn't about the opponent. We were just trying to improve as a team on some things we're lacking in right now," said Byars.

One thing that had been lacking for the Commodores was rebounding, but on Friday, Vanderbilt pounded A&M on the glass by a 46-18 rebound edge.

Nine Commodores scored in the first half as Vandy built a 45-24 lead at break.

Simpson did his best to keep A&M in the game with 13 first-half points, but his teammates combined for just 5-of-25 from the field in the period.

Vandy scored on its first four possessions of the second half, including two Byars three-pointers and another by Cage, to extend the lead to 56-24.

The Commodores extended the lead to as much as 41 on two occasions in the second half.

"We'll take that as a positive, and we'll take it as a positive that they got two offensive rebounds the second half," said coach Kevin Stallings. "We did a much-better job of deciding that we wanted the basketball tonight on both ends."

The contest marked the return of Vanderbilt center Alan Metcalfe, who missed 10 games with a broken foot he suffered November 21 against Wake Forest. Metcalfe played eight minutes and scored 4 points.

"Coach knows I'm not going to be, obviously, in game shape, and when I was out, I was doing full workouts and that type of thing," said Metcalfe.

"I'm not as far behind as probably a lot of people think, but being in game shape is still pretty much far away for now."

Vanderbilt travels to Rice (6-5) on Jan. 2 for its last out-of-conference game before opening the Southeastern Conference season at Auburn on Jan. 6.


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