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 gets back on track with home win over Ole Miss, 74-71

Following one of their worst losses in program history, the Commodores gave their fans plenty to cheer about, silencing the Rebels at home.
Tyrin+Lawrence+drives+to+the+rim+against+the+Ole+Miss+Rebels+on+Saturday%2C+February+4+at+Memorial+Gymnasium+%28Barrie+Barto%2FHustler+Multimedia%29.
Barrie Barto
Tyrin Lawrence drives to the rim against the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, February 4 at Memorial Gymnasium (Barrie Barto/Hustler Multimedia).

After suffering a historically bad 101-44 blowout at the hands of the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide, the Commodores (10-12, 3-6 SEC) looked to right the ship with a Memorial Gym matinee against Ole Miss (9-13, 1-8 SEC). Vanderbilt did so, outlasting the Rebels 74-71 on Saturday afternoon. 

Vanderbilt struck first in the game, with Ezra Manjon lobbing a pass to Liam Robbins for a decisive opening slam. It didn’t take long for Robbins to also put up a highlight on the other side of the court, as he thwarted Rebel forward Myles Burns’ attempted layup at the rim with a brutal stuff.

After a nice pass by Robbins to set up a wide open Tyrin Lawrence corner three, Vanderbilt led 11-9. The interior passing of Ole Miss was impressive to begin the day. After a strong sequence that set up Jayveous McKinnis with an uncontested layup, the Rebels had a 14-13 lead over the Commodores with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.

After a three point attempt by James White that came about a foot short, Lawrence woke up Memorial with a coast to coast finish to tie the game at 16.

With 6:30 to go in the half, Robbins had another huge slam, eliciting roars from Memorial and once again putting Vanderbilt in the driver’s seat.

The half continued to be about Robbins as things progressed, as he amassed four blocks by the time the game clock hit 3:55. He even nailed a shot from downtown, extending the Commodore lead to 30-24 with just over two minutes to go in the first frame.

Ole Miss continued to generate points because of great ball distribution, as Burns made a beautiful pass to Robert Allen for an all-too-easy jam.

After a closely contested opening half, Vanderbilt held a 34-31 lead. The Commodores and the Rebels shot an uninspiring 36% and 35% from the field respectively, and were both even worse from behind the arc. Robbins led all scorers with 11 points in the half. Lawrence crashed the boards, racking up seven rebounds before hitting the locker room.

Myles Stute started his day ice cold, missing all of his four three point attempts in the first half. His first attempt of the second half was pure, though, and put the Commodores up 39-33. 

About four minutes into the half, the Rebels went on a 6-0 run to knot the game up again, this time at 39.

Quentin Millora-Brown served as a spark plug down the stretch, as after a jumper, layup, and three point play, he had successfully completed a 6-0 run by himself. Millora-Brown’s efforts gave Vanderbilt a 47-44 edge with 11:59 to go.

Today’s game was one of the few that Millora-Brown and Robbins started together (they started against Ole Miss last year.)

“We are learning to play together, and I don’t think teams are used to the size we bring to the court,” said Millora-Brown.

Shortly after, freshman guard TJ Caldwell drove to the hoop, got both the bucket and the foul, and converted on the three point play opportunity. On the foul, however, Lawrence was hit in the face and shaken up. He would tough it out and remain in the game, scoring on Vanderbilt’s next possession. Lawrence would go on to score six of the next eight Commodore points.

Stute’s second three point connection came from way downtown, drawing the loudest crowd reaction of the day and putting the Commodores up 62-58 with 4:27 remaining.

After a Trey Thomas three that rolled around just long enough for everyone in Memorial to quickly reflect on their entire lives up to that point, the Commodores quickly won back possession, Manjon drove to the bucket, and gave the team a six point advantage.

Ezra Manjon goes for a layup against the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, February 4 at Memorial Gymnasium. (Barrie Barto/Hustler Multimedia). (Barrie Barto)

“We got a little Memorial magic help tonight,” Jerry Stackhouse joked of Thomas’ three.

Stute’s eighth three point attempt was off-line, but a heads-up rebound by Lawrence and smooth dish back to the No. 5 three pointer in the SEC resulted in a Stute long ball to ice the game.

When the final buzzer sounded, Vanderbilt finished on top, 74-71. This was a day that belonged to Lawrence and Robbins, who both recorded double-doubles in the victory. 

“We had a conversation where I demanded more from him,” said Stackhouse on Lawrence. “He has the ability to play at the next level, so I’m going to push him.”

It certainly wasn’t a perfect day for the Commodores, who missed seven free throws and shot 32% from three point range. Something that made up for this was Vanderbilt’s discipline on the defensive end: they only committed ten personal fouls throughout the entire game and held Ole Miss to just seven free throw attempts.

“The guys really came out today and responded,” said Stackhouse. “Hopefully this is something we can build on going forward.”

Vanderbilt will take the court again on Feb. 8, when they host the Tennessee Volunteers at 6 PM CST.

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About the Contributors
Jonah Barbin, Senior Staff Writer
Jonah Barbin (‘25) is majoring in human and organizational development and cinema and media studies. In addition to writing about sports, you can catch him acting, scouring the fantasy football waiver wire, playing golf and fantasizing about what Odell Beckham Jr.’s career would have been if the Giants never traded him. You can reach him at [email protected].
Barrie Barto, Senior Staff Photographer
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with a minor neuroscience in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. Outside of The Hustler, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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