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 drops its third straight, loses to Boston College 80-62

A lackluster offensive performance paired with a stellar shooting night for the Eagles spelled disaster for the reeling Commodores.
Vince Lin
Evan Taylor going up for a layup against Boston College, as photographed on Nov. 29, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Vince Lin)

On a cold Wednesday night in Nashville, the Commodores could not heat up on offense, scoring sparsely in a 80-62 loss to Boston College. Colin Smith (concussion) and Lee Dort (suspension) were unavailable for the game, but Ezra Manjon rejoined the lineup for the tilt.

“We will find a way to get through this [recent turmoil and tough games] together and continue to try to build that team that we feel we’re capable of being,” head coach Jerry Stackhouse said.

The Commodores started off the game slowly, allowing an immediate 12-3 run to the Eagles due mostly to careless offensive turnovers and a defensive size mismatch with Ven-Allen Lubin covering Quinten Post, a player four inches taller than Lubin. Post proved to be a problem for Vanderbilt all night both in and out of the paint with 24 points and 7 rebounds. The center was especially efficient from deep, going 4-of-6 from downtown to stretch the Commodore defense.

The Black and Gold kept pace with BC over the next scoring stretch, but Post continued to showcase his range, making a pair of 3s that broke fans’ spirits each time the 7-footer saw the ball swish through the lace. Guard Paul Lewis was able to string together some good possessions, but still, the Vanderbilt offense looked chaotic and uninspired. 

At the conclusion of the first half, the Commodores were in a 44-23 hole. BC shot the ball extremely well, going 18-of-31 from the field and 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s stat line told a much different tale, as the team shot 28% from the field and 10% from deep. Its most effective offense was drawing fouls — 8 of its 23 points came from the charity stripe. For reference, BC scored just 2 of its 44 first-half points from the line. Star Tyrin Lawrence had just one point going into the locker room and Manjon had already racked up three turnovers.

Coming out of the break, not much had changed. The Commodores had trouble handling the ball and creating any semblance of a smooth offense. Each possession mostly consisted of perimeter passing followed up by an ill-advised shot attempt, a block by Post or a good old-fashioned turnover. On the bright side, Lawrence and Manjon returned into a better form as the two combined for 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting. 

Before the night wrapped up, in classic late-game fashion, Vanderbilt started to rally. The squad was down 60-38 but suddenly found energy through freshman Jason Rivera-Torres, freshman Carter Lang and graduate Tasos Kamateros. The trio caught heat shooting from distance and in the paint, going 7-for-10 without Manjon, Lawrence or Lubin on the floor. Suddenly, the 22-point deficit shifted to as low as 11 with a couple minutes to play. Unfortunately for the Commodores, Boston College refused to permit late-game heroics. With critical buckets from Prince Aligbe and Post, the Eagles did just enough on the offensive and defensive end to keep the lead in double-digits.

“It just felt like we said, ‘okay, this isn’t going to be our night,’ as opposed to trying to compete and fight through it. That was the disappointing part for me, but I found a few guys in the second half that were excited to compete,” Stackhouse said.

Too little, too late. The Commodores failed to keep the game within reach from the get-go and never looked like mounting a full comeback. For the most optimistic Commodore faithful, the last quarter of the matchup is valuable time for young competitors like Isaiah West, Lewis, Rivera-Torres and Lang to establish cohesion and a rhythm that can be carried into the later stages of the season. However, seeing what could have been for the other 30 minutes of the game will be frustrating for fans nonetheless.

Vanderbilt finished the game shooting 36% and also had 10 turnovers on the night. The second half was certainly an improvement, but still, BC looked dangerous on offense each possession and scored over 50% of their field goal attempts. This all points to a defensive issue that Stackhouse will have to get creative in solving — no easy task as Vanderbilt lacks a true number five center available on the roster. Only time will tell if Stackhouse can create an identity for a team that now stands at 3-4 with the hardest stretch of its schedule still ahead.

“I just think it’s about staying together,” Manjon said of where the team goes from here.

After this crushing loss, Vanderbilt will look to end its three-game losing streak and regain momentum with a game at home against Alabama A&M on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. CST.

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About the Contributors
Sam Curtis, 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].    
Vince Lin, Staff Photographer and Graphics Staffer
Vince Lin (‘27) is from Zanesville, Ohio, and is majoring in computer science. Vince is a staff photographer and plans on covering sports and concerts. Outside of school, you can find him at the gym, rowing, lifting weights, playing games with friends or sleeping. You can reach him at [email protected].
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