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Ogilvy powers Vanderbilt to best start in school history

Jan 1, 2008 - 12:09 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Vanderbilt is off to its best start in school history.

Center Andrew Ogilvy scored 20 points and hauled down nine rebounds to lead the 15th-ranked Commodores to a 97-73 victory over Iona on Monday as Vanderbilt improved to 13-0 for the first time.

The Commodores had matched its best start in school history with Saturday's 92-85 win over Tennessee-Martin. That tied the 2003-04 campaign as the only time the school opened the season with 12 straight wins.

"It is definitely a great honor just to be in the same sentence with a lot of great teams that have played here," Vanderbilt senior swingman Shan Foster said. "This is a special team and we are able to do a lot of special things and it is just great to be a part of."

The Commodores took charge early in the second half. Leading 46-41 at the break, Vanderbilt opened the second half with an 10-0 run over the first two minutes to open a 56-41 lead.

"I thought we were sharp coming out of the locker room," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "We came out and blew it open in the start of the second half.

"Our second group went out there and played very well. They played as well as the starters. That's a very good thing for us to have."

Ogilvy and Ross Nelter had baskets to start the rally, and Jermaine Beal accounted for the next six points with a layup, free throw and 3-pointer.

The Gaels (5-9) momentarily stopped Vanderbilt's run with a 3-pointer by Kyle Camper.

But the Commodores kept rolling, scoring the next seven points to take a 63-44 advantage. Ogilvy and Alan Metcalfe each sank a pair of free throws and Foster knocked down a 3-pointer at the 14:47 mark.

The lead would grow to 72-46 midway through the second half, and Iona would not get with 17 points the rest of the way.

"It's the second (straight) time we've come out of halftime a little deflated," Iona coach Kevin Willard said. "We kind of lost our intensity as we get away from our bench, especially here. But give Vanderbilt a lot of credit for that."

Foster, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer at 20.1 points a game, also led the Commodores with 20 points, including five 3-pointers.

Metcalfe added 14 points for Vanderbilt and George Drake chipped in with 10.

Iona, which has now dropped two straight, was paced by Gary Stringer with 17 points. Devon Clarke finished with 15 and Camper added 13.

"This team (Vanderbilt) is an excellent offensive basketball team," Willard said. "I thought we could score on them, but I didn't think we would turn it over so many times.

"Vanderbilt is one of the better offensive teams that we've seen because they shoot the ball so well. On the defensive end, they are very solid and make you that work (for shots)."

The Commodores won the only other meeting between the teams, 92-56, in 1980.

    --- --- -----
    IONA 41 32 73
    VANDERBILT (15) 46 51 97 FINAL

    Dec 31 2:56 PM

    IONA 41

    Dec 31 1:48 PM