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Recap: Vanderbilt , Louisiana State
Date: February 26, 2011 1:45 PM EDT
  

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor gave his sizable rooting gallery every reason to be heard.

With more than two dozen relatives traveling from Texas and Louisiana to see him play, Taylor scored 20 points and the 18th-ranked Commodores outscored LSU 49-26 in the second half for a comfortable 90-69 victory Saturday.

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``Maybe it was a weird coincidence,' said Taylor, who dunked four times and also showed versatility with a 3-pointer and a baseline fade as he was fouled. ``It was nice that everything came together and I had a good game today.'

John Jenkins overcame a slow start to finish with 17 points for Vanderbilt (21-7, 9-5 Southeastern Conference), which bounced back from its first loss in six games last Tuesday against state rival Tennessee.

Vanderbilt, which shot 54.4 percent (31 of 57), trailed 43-41 at halftime but surged into the lead for good early in the second half with a 14-0 run during which Taylor dunked twice and hit two free throws.

``We were good offensively in the first half, we just couldn't get a stop and they played very well also,' Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. ``We just said at halftime that we needed to play better on defense. Offensively we were good. We've just got to play better on D. That's all we said.'

Vandy then held the Tigers to 25 percent shooting (8 of 32) in the second half.

Storm Warren had a career-high 24 points and Ralston Turner added 18 for LSU (11-18, 3-11), which has lost 11 of 12 games.

Andre Stringer scored 10 points for the Tigers, who on Wednesday had snapped a 10-game losing streak with a victory at Mississippi State.

A strong first half put LSU in position to make it two straight wins, but the Tigers wound up looking overmatched by the Commodores, who had five players in double figures, including Lance Goulbourne and Brad Tinsley with 16 each and Festus Ezeli with 15.

``The roof sort of caved in and I didn't think we were very, very competitive and that's where things sort of fell apart,' LSU coach Trent Johnson said. ``That being said, Vanderbilt is really good ... smart, tough and disciplined.'

Double-digit scoring is the norm for four of the Vandy players who hit that mark. Goulbourne, however, came in averaging only 6.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. He easily eclipsed both averages against LSU, grabbing a season-high 17 rebounds.

``Lance Goulbourne's performance in the second half was obviously a big difference for us,' Stallings said.

Taylor, meanwhile, made his first six field goal attempts, including a soaring double-pump two-handed dunk on a baseline drive.

He didn't miss until 5 minutes remained and finished 6 of 8, along with 7 of 12 on free throws.

``He really chose his spots well,' Stallings said. ``He was aggressive and that's what we need him to be. He needs to be aggressive and yet sometimes use discretion.'

LSU briefly got as close as 59-56 in the second half, only to have Vanderbilt quickly go back up by 12 on consecutive 3s by Goulbourne, Kyle Fuller and Jenkins. Fans began leaving when Tinsley put back an offensive rebound to make it 79-63 with 6:13 to go.

``The story of this game is the defensive end,' Turner said. ``Regardless of what we shot in the second half, Coach Johnson said that defense is what was going to win this game for us. That's what lost it for us.'

Both teams shot better than 57 percent in a first half loaded with offensive highlights.

Turner gave LSU the early edge when he hit three perimeter jumpers, one from 3-point range, during an 11-0 run that put the Tigers on top 20-13.

Vandy fought back to grab a 28-26 lead on a 5-0 spurt the included Goulbourne's 3 and Taylor's fast-break dunk that was set up by Stringer's turnover.

Turner, who had 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half, gave LSU the lead right back with a 3, then Warren followed with a short jumper and a dunk, both set up by Chris Bass, who had five assists in the half.

Warren, who had 18 points in the first half, helped LSU go ahead 43-40 with his short bank shot and a heady assist on a jump pass to Garrett Green under the basket.

LSU opened the second half with Stringer's tough one-handed driving floater off the glass to go up 45-41, but the Tigers would not score again for the next 4-plus minutes when Vanderbilt, as expected, finally began to assert its dominance.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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