Vanderbilt looks for its first win — and first lead — of the season against visiting Southern Mississippi on Friday night in Nashville.
The Commodores (0-1) trailed the entire way in a 76-67 home loss to Memphis on Monday. Vandy was down by double figures most of the second half.
Coach Jerry Stackhouse acknowledged that an older Memphis roster was a tough challenge out of the gate for his squad, which lost star guard Scotty Pippen Jr. to the NBA.
“That’s what we wanted to do to start the season off against a really good team and to really measure ourselves and see where we need to improve and where we need to get better,” Stackhouse said.
Tyrin Lawrence and Myles Stute led the Commodores in scoring with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Memphis outrebounded Vanderbilt, 35-28.
Vandy found great looks tougher to come by without Pippen. His replacement, UC Davis transfer Ezra Manjon, scored six points and had three assists in 30 minutes, though he had just one turnover.
Southern Miss (1-0) had an easier time on Monday, smacking NAIA program William Carey, 75-42. That kicked off the fourth season for coach Jay Ladner, who’s yet to hit double-digit wins in a season in Hattiesburg.
Ole Miss transfer Austin Crowley, who originally signed with Vanderbilt before backing out following a coaching change, led the Golden Eagles with 15 points. Denijay Harris, a reserve on last year’s 7-26 squad, added 14 points.
Southern Miss limited William Carey to 31 percent shooting and forced a whopping 30 turnovers.
“I was very proud of our defensive intensity,” Ladner said. “Our numbers speak that. Our defense, of course, is ahead of our offense at this point. We have a lot of guys playing and a lot of new guys. We are working to develop that chemistry. We are going to continue to work on that and improve on that, but I was proud of our defensive effort, and over time it wore William Carey down.”
The teams last met in the 2009-10 season, with Vanderbilt winning, 82-46.
–Field Level Media