The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt men’s basketball crushes Morehead State, 76-43

Thanks to big performances from Tyrin Lawrence and Liam Robbins, the Commodores cruised past the Eagles in blowout fashion.
The+Vanderbilt+bench+celebrates+a+3-pointer%2C+as+photographed+at+Memorial+Gym+on+Nov.+18%2C+2022.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FArianna+Santiago%29
Arianna Santiago
The Vanderbilt bench celebrates a 3-pointer, as photographed at Memorial Gym on Nov. 18, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Arianna Santiago)

After a winless first two games at home, the Commodores broke their unlucky streak, beating Morehead State 76-43.

As students were leaving for Thanksgiving break, the Commodores returned to West End after a successful trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they beat Temple in OT, 89-87. They hoped to move their record back to .500 with a win over the Eagles, and thanks to stellar performances from Tyrin Lawrence and Liam Robbins, they cruised past Morehead State.

“That was a great win for us. I thought our starters came out and really set the tone,” coach Jerry Stackhouse said.

The game started with the teams trading baskets. Good play down low from Morehead State allowed the Eagles to keep up with Vanderbilt early, tying the game at 6-6 four minutes into the first half. Then, the Commodores took over. 

First, Vanderbilt went on an 11-0 run that included four points from Robbins, three from Jordan Wright, two from Ezra Manjon and two from Myles Stute. After one basket from Morehead State, the Commodores went on another 9-0 run, seven of those points coming from Lawrence. The home side would eventually push their lead to 38-13 heading into halftime, thanks to a 12-5 run at the conclusion of the first period. 

In the first half, Vanderbilt shot 51.5% from the field compared to Morehead’s 20% rate of conversion. The Commodores’ stifling defense was paired with a dominant rebounding split—27 for the home team to only 14 for the away side. In terms of individual performances, Lawrence was incredibly efficient, going 6-of-7 with 13 points and 4 rebounds. 

“I just wanted to come out and set the tone, get the guys going,” Lawrence said. “We wanted to get on them early and not give them any confidence.”

Vanderbilt’s only danger would be starting the second half asleep and allowing Morehead to climb back into the matchup. Stackhouse’s squad was not about to let that happen. 

The Commodores started the second period with an 8-2 run with baskets from Quentin Millora-Brown, Stute and Lawrence. As the half wore on, Stackhouse was able to get some of his younger players significant minutes. Malik Dia played 15 minutes and had 9 points to show for it, meanwhile Noah Shelby got the first points of his career with a 3-pointer midway through the half. He would add another score from beyond the arc later in the day as well. Colin Smith and Lee Dort also got good minutes, giving Vanderbilt fans a taste of the future as the two combined for three points, six rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocks.

“I thought they did a great job. It was a case where when we get that type of separation, that’s where they can get those reps. There’s no way that you can get it other than getting out on the court and playing,” Stackhouse said of his young players. “We got some guys that are developing and I’m glad we could get those guys in the game to get more experience.”

Vanderbilt continued to overpower the Eagles, winning the second half 38-28. Overall, Vanderbilt achieved this 76-43 victory due to dominance on defense and a great shooting effort. The Commodore offense looked much more in tune against a lesser opponent, with consistent drives from players like Manjon and Lawrence that, in turn, resulted in kickouts for open 3-pointers or secondary drives to the rim. The Black-and-Gold finished their night with a shooting percentage of 49.2%. 

Defensively, Vanderbilt didn’t allow many easy baskets. Contesting shots and capturing rebounds meant the Commodores limited the Eagles to 27% shooting and outrebounded them 50-33. Overall, this performance was exactly what Stackhouse and his squad needed—a complete game on both sides of the court. 

Vanderbilt will return to action on Nov. 23 at 11 p.m. CST when they play Saint Mary’s College at the Paycom Wooden Legacy Tournament in Anaheim, California. This will be a tough matchup for the Commodores as the Gaels come into the tilt ranked at No. 22 on KenPom

“All the games are important,” Stackhouse said of the team’s upcoming tournament. “We’re looking to go out and take advantage of a great environment.”

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About the Contributors
Sam Curtis
Sam Curtis, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Sam Curtis (’24) is from Wallingford, Conn., majoring in human and organizational development and French and minoring in data science in Peabody College. He was previously Assistant Sports Editor and Sports Copy Editor. When not writing for The Hustler, he cheers on the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers and Leeds United. Outside of sports, he enjoys traveling and learning about history and philosophy. He can be reached at [email protected].    
Arianna Santiago
Arianna Santiago, Senior Staff Photographer
Arianna Santiago ('24) is from Bremerton, Wash., and studying electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering. When not shooting for The Hustler or for freelance work, Arianna can be found leading campus tours, organizing events for University Catholic, attempting to study and procrastinating her lab reports. You can reach her at [email protected].
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