Vanderbilt loses to VCU, 48-37, behind poor offensive performance

Aria Gerson
Nashville Tennessean

The "V-C-U" cheers started in the second half from a small contingent of fans behind the Rams' bench. As the half progressed, they became more frequent and louder, overpowering Memorial Gymnasium.

Under Jerry Stackhouse, the fewest points Vanderbilt has scored in a game was 46, in a loss to Ole Miss last season. Whatever issues the Commodores have had, they usually didn't struggle for a bucket.

But against VCU on Wednesday, Vanderbilt simply couldn't score in a 48-37 loss, by far the worst offensive performance under Stackhouse. Only Jordan Wright, with 15 points, reached double digits and the team shot 23% from the field and 8% from 3-point range. 

It was the fewest points the Commodores (2-1) have scored in a game since scoring 33 in a 2013 loss to Arkansas, and the worst shooting percentage since also shooting 23% in a 2012 lost to Marist.

Offense lacking

Both teams struggled immensely on offense. Vanderbilt bricked three after three, turned the ball over and struggled to make its free throws. Nothing was working against VCU's trap-heavy defense. The Commodores had six scoring droughts of three or more minutes and one six-minute drought.

Even after a paltry 22 points in the first half, the second half was worse offensively. In the first 12 minutes of the second half, Vanderbilt scored six points. In the entire half, the Commodores had 15.

Pippen absent

VCU (2-1) was able to quiet Commodores star Scotty Pippen Jr., who had eight points on 2-for-10 shooting.  

While Pippen had somewhat of a presence on the boards with seven rebounds, he committed five turnovers and three fouls, with the worst plus-minus on the team at minus-14.

Defense solid

Vanderbilt's defense was every bit as good as the Rams' in the first half, holding VCU to just 23 points. That wasn't likely to hold forever, though. In the second half, the Commodores remained stingy, but the Rams were able to get into transition.

In one sequence at the beginning of the half, Pippen had two turnovers in 30 seconds, leading to an open three and then an easy dunk when he didn't get up fast enough to go back on defense. Stackhouse, upset, called a timeout. 

Ultimately, though, Vanderbilt's defense wasn't the problem. Under Stackhouse, the Commodores have won games where they give up 46 points. This time, the offense didn't hold up its end of the bargain.

Aria Gerson covers Vanderbilt athletics for The Tennessean. Contact her at or on Twitter @aria_gerson.