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Foster's 24 points help Vanderbilt cruise past Rice

Jan 4, 2008 - 5:18 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Shan Foster and Vanderbilt used a quick second-half burst to stay perfect on the season.

Foster scored 24 points as No. 15 Vanderbilt posted a 76-58 victory over Rice on Thursday.

Freshman Andrew Ogilvy had 14 points and nine rebounds and Alex Gordon scored 11 for the Commodores (14-0) who are one of only six teams to remain unbeaten nationally.

"We didn't shoot well, but that's OK," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stalling said. "We played at a good level of intensity defensively."

"You become a marked man," Foster said of Vanderbilt being one of the few remaining teams in the country not to lose. "But we're ready for that. We know what to expect and we'll prepare for that as well."

Vanderbilt, which had its lowest scoring total of the season, blew a tight game open in the first three minutes of the second half.

Leading by 31-26, at the break, the Commodores went on an 11-0 run capped by Foster's jumper at the 17:31 mark to extend the margin to double digits.

"We got off to a good start in the second half," Stalling said. "I thought our starters in both halves got us off to excellent starts."

Foster, who entered as Vanderbilt's leader scorer (20.1), connected on 8-of-14 from the floor. The senior, who had his ninth 20-plus point game of the season, nailed his fourth 3-pointer to make it 67-48 with 5:50 remaining.

"All season, we've shown that we can win in a lot of different ways. This is just one more way," Foster said.

Gordon also made 3-of-7 from 3-point range for the Commodores, who shot 44 percent (28-of-63) and have one non-conference game remaining before opening Southeastern Conference play Wednesday vs. South Carolina.

"The last couple of practices, Coach has been telling us that we need to get better," Gordon said. "We just executed what we have been practicing."

Paulius Packevicius scored 17 points and Lawrence Ghoram added 15 for the Owls (3-9), who have lost two straight and four of five.

"The beginning of the second half was the undoing of us," Rice coach Willis Wilson said. "We got behind in the first half and made a nice effort to work ourselves back into the game. But we let some situations slip past us that could have tied the score or even gave us the lead. Their second-half performance combined with our bad play really took a lot out of us."

Rice, which shot just 38 percent (22-of-58), is only 3-15 all-time vs. Vanderbilt, including 2-10 here.

    --- --- -----
    RICE 26 32 58
    VANDERBILT (15) 31 45 76 FINAL

    Jan 3 9:53 PM

    RICE 26

    Jan 3 8:50 PM