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Sophomore shines, helps Vandy topple Tennessee

Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor, who scored a career-high 26, dribbles past Tennessee guard Skylar McBee in the second half.

Associated Press

Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor, who scored a career-high 26, dribbles past Tennessee guard Skylar McBee in the second half.

NASHVILLE — Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings didn't know when Jeffery Taylor would break out. He just felt it would be soon.

The sophomore guard's timing couldn't have been better.

Taylor scored 16 of his career-high 26 in the first half, and No. 22 Vanderbilt routed No. 12 Tennessee 90-71 on Tuesday night.

The Commodores grabbed sole possession of second in the SEC East, behind No. 3 Kentucky.

"I'm glad it came (Tuesday)," Stallings said. " … He was on the verge. He kind of had that look, and (I'm) really happy for him."

The Commodores (18-5, 7-2) swept the season series against their instate rival for the first time since 2004-05 — the season before coach Bruce Pearl took over the Vols. They did it with the best shooting performance at the free-throw line in Stallings' 11 seasons, going 37-of-43.

"You always want to win rivalry games," Stallings said. "It feels good that it puts us ahead of them in the league race temporarily. Hopefully, we can keep it going."

The Vols (18-5, 6-3), who got 19 points from J.P. Prince, had a three-game winning streak snapped, and now the defending SEC East champs must visit Kentucky on Saturday night.

"This puts us in a really uphill battle to defend our SEC East championship," Pearl said.

Taylor hadn't scored more than 10 in a game since Jan. 23 against Auburn. He couldn't miss against Tennessee: He went 4-of-5 from the field and was perfect on eight free throws in the first half.

"I just came in the game with the mentality of just shoot it right away instead of catching the ball and looking at what the defense is doing," Taylor said. "Everybody already knew they were going to back off me. So I just caught it and shot it, and it went in."

No. 3 Kentucky 66, 'Bama 55: John Wall had 22 points and 10 rebounds for his first double double and fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins got his seventh in a row for the host Wildcats (23-1, 8-1 SEC). With 16 points and 13 rebounds, Cousins extended his school freshman record to 15 double doubles.

No. 6 Purdue 76, No. 10 Mich. St. 64: E'Twaun Moore scored a season-high 25 to lead the visiting Boilermakers (20-3, 8-3 Big Ten), who have won six straight. Kalin Lucas played after missing a game with a sprained right ankle for the Spartans (19-6, 9-3), who have lost three in a row.

No. 7 G'town 79, Providence 70: Chris Wright scored 21 and Greg Monroe had 12 points and 12 assists to lead the visiting Hoyas (18-5, 8-5 Big East).

Illinois 63, No. 11 Wisc. 56: Demetri McCamey scored 27 and Mike Tisdale added 19 for the visiting Illini. Jason Bohannon scored 15 and Trevon Hughes 12 for the Badgers (18-6, 8-4).

Oklahoma: Guard Stephen Pledger and forward Andrew Fitzgerald, both freshmen, were suspended after being cited for petty larceny over the weekend.

USF women off mark in loss at Marquette

Perimeter shooting limited USF, which went 4-of-21 (19 percent) beyond the arc, in a 63-50 loss at Marquette.

The Bulls (13-10, 4-6 Big East), who dropped their second game in four days, were within five with six minutes left, but the Golden Eagles (14-9, 5-5) scored the next eight to put it away.

Senior center Jessica Lawson led the Bulls with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but USF committed 22 turnovers.

Stringer suspended: Rutgers suspended Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer for one game for misusing practice players. Stringer, third among women's coaches with 838 wins, will miss today's game against Seton Hall.

No. 4 Notre Dame 66, Cincy 50: Lindsay Schrader scored 14 of her 16 in the second half for the visiting Irish (22-1, 9-1 Big East).

Sophomore shines, helps Vandy topple Tennessee 02/09/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:21am]
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