The #12 seeded Tennessee Volunteers beat the #5 seeded Vanderbilt Commodores 67-65 in the 2nd round of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. A driving lay-up by Vanderbilt’s Wade Baldwin IV had apparently tied the game to force overtime as time ran out, but after a lengthy review, the shot was waved off by the officials, setting off a celebration of UT players and dashing the hopes of the Commodores. The UT victory pits the Vols against LSU in the quarterfinals on Friday at approx. 2:30 PM. The Commodore loss means that Vanderbilt will now have to wait until Sunday to see if they make the NCAA tourney.
Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game, “We’ll have to go back and figure out what the next few days hold and then be prepared for whatever happens Sunday.”
The Vols came out of the gate red-hot and the Commodores came out ice cold. UT opened up a 15-8 lead early and were ahead 30-15 at the 3:39 mark of the 1st half before Vandy’s Joe Toye hit the Commodores first 3-pointer. The Commodores were 0 of 9 on 3’s to start the game. UT went on to lead 34-22 at the half.
Stallings said, “Yeah, I thought Tennessee was really aggressive in the 1st half, and I thought we played a little tentative early on, missed some shots that we’re accustomed to making. These guys are very intelligent. They know that there’s a lot on the line, and there’s been a lot on the line for us the last several weeks. I just thought we played a little tight.”
The Commodores regrouped at halftime, and were able to chip away at the Vols lead. A 3-pointer by Toye put the Commodores up 57-56 with 4:19 remaining in the game, but the Vols responded and went up 65-59 with :55 secs remaining. A Luke Kornet 3-pointer made it 65-62 with :49 seconds left, then after UT went back up 67-62 with just :13 seconds left, a quick 3-pointer by Baldwin made it 67-65 with just :9 seconds left. After UT inbounded the ball Vandy’s Luke Kornet fouled UT’s Detrick Mostella. Mostella missed the front end of the 1 and 1 , Vandy rebounded, got the ball to Baldwin, who raced the length of the court and shot the apparent tying basket, but it wasn’t to be. Final UT 67- Vanderbilt 65.
UT was led in scoring by Detrick Mostella with 18 points. Armani Moore had 14, admiral Schofield chipped in 12, and Robert Hubbs III netted 10 for the Vols.
Vanderbilt was led by Wade Baldwin IV with 13 points, Damian Jones and Matthew Fisher-Dave each scored 12, and Joe Toye had 10 points for the Commodores.