Dores beat Norfolk State 63-53

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Allen

Mr Commodore

Norfolk State junior D’Shon Taylor had game and career highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Norfolk State men’s basketball team shot just 32 percent from the floor in a 63-53 loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday evening at Memorial Gym.

The Commodores hit 9-of-22 from the 3-point line and got balanced scoring, including three players off the bench scoring in double figures. Vanderbilt had 19 assists on its 22 baskets with just nine turnovers to improve to 4-0 overall.

Senior Malik Thomas was the only other Spartan player in double figures with 13. NSU hit just 18-of-56 (32.1 percent) overall, including 3-of-19 from 3-point range, to fall to 2-3.

The contest was played as part of the Barclays Center Classic, which will conclude this weekend.

NSU was hurt in the first half by foul trouble, allowing Vanderbilt to build a 15-point edge at the break.

There was not much rhythm to the start of the second half thanks to several foul calls early on. The teams essentially traded scores, with VU going up by as much as 18. NSU, though, was able to get to within 12 at 51-39 when Taylor sank a trio of free throws at the 8:54 mark.

Thomas and junior RaShid Gaston each hit 1-of-2 from the foul line to make it 54-43 with less than five and a half minutes to go in the contest. A little later, Thomas went right down the middle of the lane for an easy dunk with four minutes left. Unfortunately for the Spartans, it marked their only bucket in a nearly nine-minute span.

Gaston had a putback bucket with less than two minutes left, and Thomas drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 61-51 with just 54.8 seconds left. But a 10-point margin, though, was as close as the Spartans could get.

NSU held the Commodores to just 10-of-31 shooting in the second half after they connected on 12-of-19 in the first stanza. The Spartans outscored them by five in the second half.

Norfolk State had the early lead to start the game, 7-3, after junior Jeff Short got free down low on a backdoor cut. Senior Jamel Fuentes hit a pair of free throws and then a tough shot over a defender down low, but the Commodores then scored 12 straight points to go up by nine, 20-11, with 10:05 on the clock. Short ended that VU spurt with a trey from the left corner to begin a 9-3 run for the Spartans that lasted two and a half minutes.

The Commodores responded again, this time with eight unanswered points, as they outscored the Spartans 15-3 to end the first half. Vanderbilt held a 38-23 lead at the break.

The Spartans outrebounded the Commodores 42-34 in the game and had just 11 turnovers.

Vanderbilt hit 22-of-50 (44.0 percent) for the game. Wade Baldwin IV totaled 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Riley LaChance added 12 points, and Matthew Fisher-Davis and James Siakam each tallied 11 points on the night. Of the four players in double figures, only LaChance got a starting nod. Vanderbilt outscored NSU 37-12 in bench points.

Damian Jones and Luke Kornet came into the game averaging a combined 34 points per game for Vanderbilt. NSU held the duo to a combined 11 points on the night.

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