Vanderbilt will hope to make up for an embarrassing opening-night loss when it hosts South Carolina Upstate on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.
The Commodores (0-1), who were 17.5-point favorites, blew a four-point halftime lead and trailed by as many as 15 in the second half before falling 68-62 to Presbyterian on Tuesday. Presbyterian lost its last 18 games last season and was picked ninth in the nine-team Big South.
Vanderbilt played without preseason All-Southeastern Conference guard Tyrin Lawrence, as well as starting forward Ven Allen Lubin and backup center Lee Dort, who were all held out with injuries.
Point guard Ezra Manjon (19 points) was Vandy’s only player to score in double figures, but he sat the final 16:13 of the first half after picking up his second foul.
Coach Jerry Stackhouse played 12 men, with no one logging more than Colin Smith’s 27 minutes.
“These early nonconference games are the ones that you’re supposed to be able to play guys and give them a chance to get some reps and get some experience,” Stackhouse said on Tuesday.
USC Upstate (0-1) will be Vandy’s second straight Big South opponent. The Spartans will see their second SEC opponent in a row after losing their opener 82-53 to South Carolina.
Justin Bailey (10.6 ppg last year) paced USC Upstate in scoring while Trae Broadnax (11.1) added 10.
The Spartans were outrebounded 45-27 and could have used more from Floyd Rideau, a third-year player in the program who failed to score in 20 minutes.
On a positive note, USC Upstate had 13 assists to 11 turnovers, which likely pleased coach Dave Dickerson. Seven Spartans dished out assists, led by Broadnax and Jorge Ochoa with three apiece.
“We won 10 games in the league last year and we didn’t do well making each other better,” Dickerson told Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. “We had 374 assists and 421 turnovers so we didn’t help each other like we can.”
–Field Level Media