NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Playing its first game in 13 days, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team hung around with host Vanderbilt for a little more than 10 minutes on Monday night at the Commodores’ Memorial Gym. Once Vandy got going, though, Penn was unable to keep up as the Red and Blue fell, 79-50.
Penn (3-6) saw a three-game win streak come to an end, while Vanderbilt improved to 8-3 on the season.
Penn got off to a good start, and led 18-15 more than midway through the first half after Antonio Woods drained a three-pointer. However, Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones was simply dominant for a key stretch after that; the Commodores outscored Penn, 15-4, and he had 13 of those points for the hosts as they grabbed control of the game.
Tony Hicks and Matt Howard did their best to keep the Quakers in it, as Hicks finished the opening period with 14 points and Howard scored consecutive buckets just 20 seconds apart. However, Vandy’s lead was 40-29 at the break.
Any remaining drama was quickly drained from this one in the second half. Vanderbilt scored eight of the first 10 points in the period, and that was the catalyst to what ended up as a 31-9 run to start the period. That made the score 71-38, and the closest Penn got after that was the 29-point margin at the end.
Hicks finished the night with 16 points, while Howard had 11 and Darien Nelson-Henry scored nine. For Vandy, James Siakam had 17 points and eight rebounds; Jones had 15 and six boards; and Wade Baldwin IV scored 16 points.
Penn returns to action eight days from now, taking on La Salle on Tuesday, Dec. 30 in a Big 5 game at the Explorers’ Tom Gola Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Download: Vandy MBK vs Penn122214 Book 1.pdf