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 silenced by Ole Miss 69-56, drops to 5-11

On Saturday, Vanderbilt went 22.2% from the 3-point line and fell to the 15-1 Ole Miss Rebels.
Vince Lin
Ezra Manjon and Jason Rivera-Torres help Tasos Kamateros up, as photographed on Dec. 2, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Vince Lin)

The Vanderbilt Commodores (5-11, 0-3) were unable to earn their first road win of the season on Saturday against Ole Miss (15-1, 2-1). The Rebels, who entered Saturday’s matchup as the best 3-point shooting team in the SEC, went 10-for-25 from beyond the arc. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, was unable to get much going from the 3-point line, finishing the game with a 22.2% from the 3.

The game began with Ole Miss winning the jump ball and Matthew Murrell converting a jumper on the first possession. That would not be the last time Murrell’s name was announced in the PA system in Oxford, Miss. Murrell — the seventh-best scorer in the SEC — notched 24 points on Saturday.

Sparked by Murrell’s quick start, Ole Miss led Vanderbilt 9-6 at the first media timeout. Vanderbilt point guard Ezra Manjon scored first after the timeout and was then silenced by a 3-pointer from Murrell at 14:37.

Manjon pushed Vanderbilt’s deficit to 11-10 in the ensuing possession, knocking down two made free throws at the 14:05 mark in the first half. The Commodores went scoreless for the next 4:22 while Ole Miss went on a 6-0 run.

Finally, after seven consecutive missed field goals, Tyrin Lawrence ended Vanderbilt’s dry spell with a 2-point jumper off of a fast break with 9:47 remaining in the first half. The Commodores were now down 17-12. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss would trade points for the next seven minutes. 

Trailing 32-26 to Ole Miss with 2:54 remaining in the first half, Malik Presley pump-faked a defender and was unsuccessful on a driving left-handed layup. Soon after, Brandon Murray knocked down a shot from the paint to give Ole Miss its largest lead of the game to that point. Manjon punched right back though, with a fadeaway from the foul line. 

Murrell responded with a 3-pointer that pushed the Ole Miss lead to 37-28 with 1:30 remaining in the first period. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt exchanged points to end the half with Ole Miss leading Vanderbilt 41-32. The Rebels converted on seven straight field goals to conclude the first half. Freshman Jason-Rivera Torres led Vanderbilt with 10 points and Murrell led Ole Miss with 15 points at the halftime break. Ole Miss outrebounded Vanderbilt in the first half 18 to 11 and went 7-for-12 from the 3-point line.

“Rivera-Torres gives us a boost off the bench,” head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “We like the balance we have in the starting lineup and like having a bench scorer available.”

Vanderbilt fired first after the halftime break with Lawrence making two free throws with 19:43 to go. The Commodores, down 43-34, next scored just over two minutes later when Ven-Allen Lubin converted on an Ole Miss turnover and ferociously slammed down a dunk.

Vanderbilt would continue to fight, especially once Allen Flanigan knocked down a 2-pointer to give Ole Miss a 14-point cushion with 13:19 remaining in the game. The Ole Miss 53-39 lead quickly evaporated as the Commodores went on a 13-2 run that was capped off by a 3-ball from JQ Roberts with 8:17 to go. Vanderbilt now trailed Ole Miss 55-52.

Ole Miss responded with a run of its own, going on a 10-0 run until Lawrence made a free throw with 5:33 remaining in the contest. Despite a valiant effort at a comeback, the Commodores ultimately fell to the Rebels 69-56. Lawrence led Vanderbilt in scoring with 14 points.

Vanderbilt will return to the hardwood with a matchup against the No. 18 Auburn Tigers on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. CST at Memorial Gymnasium.

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Vince Lin
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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