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January 17, 2008

Chism's 18 points, 18 boards, blows away Vandy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-Poor offense and a career night from Tennessee's Wayne Chism doomed Vanderbilt in Knoxville, as the Commodores committed 22 turnovers and shot poorly in every way imaginable in an 80-60 trouncing by the Vols in Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday night.

Chism, averaging 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds a game, torched VU for 18 points and 18 boards, and UT's stifling half-court defense held the Commodores to season-lows in field goal percentage (36.8), 3-point percentage (14.3) and points.

The Commodores missed their first 11 3-point attempts of the night, and Shan Foster-a 51 percent shooter from behind the arc-was just 1-11 from long range. Foster (14 points) and freshman Andrew Ogilvy (12) were each held to their second-lowest scoring nights of the year.

Meanwhile, the Commodores' turnover-plagued frontcourt continued its woes. Ogilvy (four turnovers), reserve center Alan Metcalfe (two) and Ross Neltner (six) combined for over half of Vandy's 22.

"That wasn't a lot of fun," Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings said. "Games are intended to be fun, and we just didn't give ourselves a chance. … They played better than we did, and they deserved it."

UT's half-court pressure knocked the Commodores out of synch offensively nearly the entire evening. Vandy held a 12-10 lead eight minutes into the game, but a 23-8 spurt by the Vols-uncharacteristically punctuated by a pair of 3s from Chism and one by Ryan Childress at the end-gave UT a 33-18 lead at the four-minute mark.

Vandy staged a short 6-3 rally to end the half, but still trailed by 13 at the break. A 9-2 run out to start the second half, fueled by five points from Ogilvy, put Vandy down 40-32.

That seemed to get UT's attention. The Vols out-scored Vandy 19-6 in the next 3:20, the last points coming on Chris Lofton's spectacular, fall-away 3 with 11:28 left that put UT up 59-38.

VU answered with a quick 15-2 spurt over the next 3:31 that ended when Foster hit his only 3 from the left corner with 7:48 left. It wouldn't be nearly enough. The Vols got points their next five possessions to build a 70-57 lead, then connected on six straight free throws in the last 1:14 to pad the margin and cruise to victory.

"We had some opportunities to make it interesting, but each time we did, we missed a shot," Stallings said.

Free throw shooting and rebound also hurt Vandy; the Commodores converted just 60 percent of 25 attempts behind the line, and got beaten 43-38 on the glass.

Tyler Smith (14 points), JaJuan Smith (14) and Lofton (11) joined Chism as double-digit scorers for UT. Foster (14) and Ogilvy (12) were the only two Commodores to reach that plateau.

Vanderbilt (16-2) returns home for a game against LSU on Saturday before a two-game road swing to Florida and Mississippi.

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