Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton led three Tribe players in double figures with 14 points. Junior forward Tim Rusthoven battled foul trouble, but finished with 11 points, including a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line, while senior guard Matt Rum added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Junior forward Kyle Gaillard added a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Tribe and Commodores traded buckets in the early stages of the contest, before a 3-pointer from the right side by freshman Terry Tarpey to beat the shot clock put the Green and Gold on top 13-11 at the 12:09 mark. The W&M lead was again three after a Thornton triple from the left side, but Vanderbilt seized control of the opening half with a 9-0 run. VU held W&M scoreless for better than six minutes and a Kedren Johnson bucket in the paint extended the Commodore cushion to 22-16 at the 4:35 mark.
W&M responded with five straight points to close to within a point, 22-21. Thornton found junior Julian Boatner for a 3-pointer, before scoring on a driving bucket on his own. Vanderbilt though scored the final four points of the opening half and took a 26-21 advantage to the intermission.
Rusthoven scored the Tribe's opening five points of the second half, and Gaillard hit Rum for a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the College a 29-28 advantage four minutes into the second frame. A Gaillard driving lay-up tied the contest at 31, before Vanderbilt embarked on a 16-6 run to take a double-digit advantage. Freshman Sheldon Jeter scored seven straight points for Vanderbilt, before a Kevin Bright 3-pointer from the left corner pushed the lead to 47-37 with 9:22 remaining.
The Tribe closed to seven, 48-41, on a Gaillard jumper in the lane at the 7:11 mark. Vanderbilt, though, scored eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from Kedren Johnson and Dai-Jon Parker, to put the game out of reach.
W&M shot a season-low 34 percent (16-of-47) from the floor and was 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Tribe outrebounded Vanderbilt, 35-33, and received four rebounds each from freshmen Sean Sheldon and Terry Tarpey. Vanderbilt shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the floor and knocked down eight 3-pointers. The Commodores blocked 10 shots and finished with seven steals.
Jeter led three Vanderbilt players in double-digits with a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 from the floor. Juniors Rod Odom and Kedren Johnson added 12 points each in the victory.
The Tribe returns to Colonial Athletic Association play when it hosts George Mason on Saturday, Jan. 5. The game carries at 2 p.m. tip time and will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia and New England as well as Comcast Sports Southeast. Tribe fans can catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast will be available on TribeAthletics.com.
W&M Athletics is offering fans the Virginia 529 Ticket Package, presented by Virginia 529 College Saving Plan, for the George Mason contest on Saturday. Fans can purchase two mezzanine level tickets for $20 and will receive a voucher for two hot dogs, two soft drinks and two bags of chips. Call the Tribe Ticket Office at (757) 221-3340 for more information.