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 beats Alabama A&M 78-59 behind Lubin double-double

The Commodores broke a three-game losing skid with a 78-59 win over Alabama A&M.
Ophelia Lu
JaQualon Roberts after a dunk on Dec. 2, 2023 versus Alabama A&M. (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu)

The Vanderbilt Commodores (4-4) returned to the .500 mark Saturday with a 78-59 win over the Alabama A&M Bulldogs (1-6). Vanderbilt broke a three-game losing streak thanks to five different double-digit scorers and a double-double by Ven-Allen Lubin.

The Commodores got off to a slugglish start, trailing 9-6 in the opening few minutes. However, the Commodores did record highlight-reel play by Tyrin Lawrence and Ezra Manjon. Lawrence intercepted a pass, avoided stepping out of bounds and passed it to Manjon. On the fast break, Manjon found Lawrence again to finish an alley-oop.

The Commodores weren’t able to build a lead for most of the first half against the Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 344 in Division 1 by KenPom. Vanderbilt got its first real breathing room with just under five minutes left in the first half on a three-pointer by Lubin to stretch the lead to eight points. The Commodores extended their lead by going on a 14-2 run over a seven-minute span late in the half to get a 12-point edge, but a couple buckets and a three at the buzzer by Omari Peek made the score 36-29 at the break.

Both teams were sloppy on offense for the opening 20 minutes. Alabama A&M shot just 28.6% in the first half, while the Commodores shot 36.0%. Manjon and Lawrence both played the majority of the half despite Manjon picking up two early fouls. The other three starters — Lubin, Carter Lang and Evan Taylor — also played double-digit minutes in the first half.

The Bulldogs started the second half with an offensive surge, cutting the lead down to 44-40 at the first TV timeout. Vanderbilt was able to build its lead though with a four-point play by Tasos Kamateros as part of an 8-0 run. The Commodores were also in the bonus as early as seven minutes into the second half, making it easier to get to the line.

Even as the Commodores built a bigger lead, head coach Jerry Stackhouse left the starters in. Lang fouled out with five minutes left, so Jason Rivera-Torres played for the last few minutes. Vanderbilt was able to extend the lead to 19 points on a dunk by Manjon.

Despite the relatively slow performance, five Commodores made it into double-digit scoring: Lawrence, Lubin, Manjon and Rivera-Torres. Lubin recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lawrence led the scoring with 19 points. Manjon had 12 points and 7 assists. The Commodores shot 34 free throws over the course of the game, making 70.6%.

The Commodores will return to the court on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. versus San Francisco at Memorial Gymnasium.

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About the Contributors
Frankie Sheehy, Former Deputy Sports Editor
Frankie Sheehy ('24) wrote for The Hustler Sports section and graduated from the College of Arts and Science with majors in economics and law, history and society. He was also the president of the Vanderbilt Chess Club and a superfan of the Chicago White Sox. You can reach him at [email protected].
Ophelia Lu, Deputy Photography Director
Ophelia Lu (’26) is double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering in the School of Engineering. She previously served as a staff photographer. When not covering events and sports games for The Hustler, you can find her listening to Spotify religiously, studying at Starbucks or attempting to make food out of the random things she bought. She can be reached at [email protected].
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