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Ogilvy, solid offense help Vanderbilt turn around woes

Feb 3, 2008 - 6:21 AM NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- A.J. Ogilvy and Vanderbilt took the best that Auburn could throw at them and came up with a much-needed win.

Ogilvy scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the No. 18 Commodores halted their recent slide with a 78-71 victory over the Tigers in a Southeastern Conference matchup on Saturday.

Both seniors, Alex Gordon scored 17 points and Shan Foster added 16 for Vanderbilt (18-4, 3-4 SEC East), which had dropped four of its previous five games.

"I met with our seniors on Thursday and things got better Thursday afternoon, they got better Friday, and they got better today," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "They'll lead us. It's easy when you lose four out of five games to get (down). They know how to fight."

"We knew they would want to play well at home after the stretch they've been through, a difficult stretch," Auburn coach Jeff Lebo said.

Included in that slump was a 74-58 setback at No. 22 Mississippi on Wednesday, a game in which the Commodores shot just 35 percent (22-of-63) while being held to their lowest point total of the season.

Vanderbilt was able to turn some of those woes around in the first half behind Ogilvy, who scored 13 points in the opening 20 minutes to build a 37-25 lead.

"Ogilvy, we just didn't know what to do with him," Lebo said. "We don't match up well."

However, that advantage almost did not hold up as Frank Tolbert scored 24 of his career-high 32 points after intermission to lead an ill-fated charge by Auburn (12-8, 2-5 West).

Despite the exploits of the senior guard, the Tigers only were able to get within a point at 63-62 with 6:35 remaining following a pair of free throws from Tolbert.

The Commodores, who shot 52 percent (16-of-31) in the second half with five 3-pointers, came back with a 9-0 run that included seven straight points by Jermaine Beal. Ogilvy capped the burst with a layup for a 72-62 lead with 4:21 to play.

Beal hit a 3-pointer during that run, finishing 2-of-4 from long range.

"Jermaine Beal hit a big three for us," Stallings said. "We had a lot of guys step up and make plays."

Tolbert had a 3-pointer and a jumper down the stretch, but Vanderbilt converted 4-of-6 free throws inside the final minute.

Despite the shooting display from Tolbert, the Commodores held the Tigers to 37 percent (23-of-62) shooting and finished with a 38-31 rebounding advantage.

"Our defensive effort was good," Stallings said. "I thought out effort on Tolbert was good, but he made some contested shots and some uncontested shots. To hold them to 37 percent and to rebound and do the things we did, I was happy."

Ogilvy went 6-of-9 from the field, converted 7-of-8 free throws and grabbed nine rebounds in bouncing back from some recent sub-par efforts. The freshman center had just 29 points in his previous three games.

"Obviously, I've been in a slump as of late, and it was good to come back out and get to playing like I know I can and be more of an inside presence, and get a win," Ogilvy said. "I've been sick the last few games. I was feeling a lot better today and that obviously helped out a lot."

Tolbert finished 10-of-19 from the field with five 3-pointers and eight rebounds for Auburn, which dropped its third straight game.

Hampered by three fouls in the first half, Quan Prowell finished with 12 points and DeWayne Reed added 10 for the Tigers.