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.

Commodores fall 73-60 to San Francisco

Vanderbilt’s defensive woes were on display in a 73-60 loss to San Francisco.
Ezra+Manjon+shooting+a+skyhook+against+San+Francisco+on+Dec.+6%2C+2023.+%28Hustler+Multimedia%2FOphelia+Lu%29
Ophelia Lu
Ezra Manjon shooting a skyhook against San Francisco on Dec. 6, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu)

On Wednesday night, the Vanderbilt Commodores (4-5) suffered their third home defeat this season in a 73-60 loss to San Francisco (6-3). Vanderbilt was unable to hold down San Francisco’s offense despite having its entire active roster available.

The game saw the return of Colin Smith to the floor after the sophomore forward missed three games due to a concussion. Smith played 27 minutes, recording 8 points and 2 rebounds.

The Commodores got off to an ugly start, making just one of their first six shots and going down 10-2 at the first media timeout. The opening stretch also saw Tyrin Lawrence benched after just three minutes when he missed a long 3-pointer and a layup. Head coach Jerry Stackhouse yelled at Lawrence as he came off the floor, and Lawrence did not return until the 7:06 mark.

“He wasn’t doing nothing,” Stackhouse said of Lawrence’s start. “The energy that we need him to play with, he wasn’t doing it.”

Vanderbilt came back in the next phase with buckets by Jason Rivera-Torres and Ven-Allen Lubin to draw within one. However, the Dons built up their lead with Lawrence and Manjon off the floor, reaching a 22-15 lead due in part to a 4-for-4 start by the Dons’ Marcus Williams. The Commodores had a chance to chip into that lead due to a technical foul, but Evan Taylor missed both free throws.

When Lawrence and Manjon came back, the impact on the offense was immediate. Lawrence executed a perfect drive-and-kick to find Smith open for a 3-pointer, and Manjon knocked in a midrange jumper on the next possession to put Vanderbilt within six. However, the starters continued to struggle defensively, allowing San Francisco to double its lead within the next minute.

A 3 by Taylor at the buzzer made a dent, but Vanderbilt still went into halftime trailing 43-29. The Commodores shot just 1-for-6 from the free-throw line in the first half while allowing the Dons to shoot 60% from the field and 57.1% from beyond the arc.

Vanderbilt started the second half much better than the first, putting together a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to four with most of the starters on the floor except with Smith in for Carter Lang. San Francisco immediately responded with an 8-0 run of its own to quiet Memorial Gymnasium.

When Stackhouse put the second unit into the game, the Commodores got back into the game with a run of defensive stops. That group included Rivera-Torres, Paul Lewis and Tasos Kamateros. Vanderbilt went into the under-8 media timeout trailing 64-54.

The starting group was on for the last few minutes, but did too little too late as the Commodores fell by 13. The Commodores were outrebounded 39-21, with Lubin recording just two boards.

“They basically just kicked our ass on the rebounds,” Stackhouse said. “It’s tough to win games like that no matter how much you make shots…That’s not who we are.”

Lubin led the Commodores in scoring with 15 points. Manjon was the only other Commodore in double digits with 10.

Vanderbilt will now take a break due to final exams before returning to the court on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. CST against Texas Tech in Fort Worth, Texas.

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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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