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Ogilvy helps Vanderbilt stay undefeated

Jan 10, 2008 - 7:02 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A.J. Ogilvy stood out in his first league game.

The freshman center scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds as No. 12 Vanderbilt continued its undefeated start with a tight 80-73 victory over South Carolina on Wednesday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Tallying at least 20 points for the fourth time in his last five games, Ogilvy picked up the slack for leading scorer Shan Foster, who struggled with shooting issues.

The SEC's leading scorer, Foster finished 4-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-9 on 3-pointers, en route to 13 points. The senior swingman was coming off a season-high 32 points in a 97-88 win over Massachusetts on Saturday.

"South Carolina did a great job of covering me and their defensive scheme was great and they executed well, but we have great teammates on this team who step up in times of struggle," Foster said. "Andrew (Ogilvy) played great and we were able to get the win."

Despite limiting the Gamecocks to 32 percent (11-of-34) shooting in the first half, the Commodores (16-0, 1-0 SEC East) held just a 35-30 lead at the half.

The 6-10 Ogilvy took over thereafter, recording 19 of his scoring haul after intermission.

Before the native of Australia could step up, South Carolina managed to pull ahead, taking a 40-39 lead on a 3-pointer by Dwayne Day with 16:47 remaining.

The game remaining tight until Vanderbilt went on a 12-4 run nearly midway through the second half. Ogilvy scored six straight points during the burst, which gave the Commodores a 67-58 lead with six minutes left.

"It's basically just confidence," Foster said about the decisive run. "We are very confident in those situations. Coach does a great job putting together a defensive and offensive scheme to put us in position to win games, and we go out and execute."

The Gamecocks did get within two points with 1:48 left, but Alex Gordon stepped up with one of his 3-pointers.

Overall, Vanderbilt shot 46 percent (28-of-61), including 9-of-27 on 3-pointers despite the problems with Foster.

"That was the best I've seen South Carolina play," Stallings said. "I've seen a lot of their games on tape and that's the best they've played. I'm proud of our team. We survived."

"I think Kevin Stallings has the makings of his best team," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "It's not necessarily because they are 16-0. His team plays very good basketball. They play team basketball. They are very fun to watch on tape when you don't have to play them."

Despite his shooting issues, Foster did connect on his 297th career 3-pointer, surpassing Ronnie McMahan for the all-time school record.

Devan Downey scored 22 points and Zam Fredrick 21 for South Carolina (8-7, 0-1), which attempted only four free throws compared to 17 for Vanderbilt.

The stat was particularly key in the second half, as the Commodores converted 15-of-17 after the break compared to 2-of-2 for the Gamecocks.

"I thought defensively we did a really good job," Stallings said. "You look up and you see that some of their guys had 22 and 21 points, but they took 23 and 20 shots to get there. I thought we did a great job of keeping them off the foul line and then getting there ourselves in the second half."

"Statistically, they got us pretty good on the boards and certainly at the free-throw line," Odom said. "(Vanderbilt) shot a number of free throws in the second half and we had four for the night, so it was a huge difference. A lot of that is that they do go inside and you are going to foul them more, but we've got to figure out a way to get inside and get some fouls ourselves because we do shoot free throws pretty well, as do they."