A quick start in an ugly game helped Vanderbilt remain undefeated its last time out.
The 23rd-ranked Commodores will try to continue their best start in four years on Saturday night when they host crosstown rival Lipscomb.
Vanderbilt (8-0) scored the first eight points Wednesday against Wake Forest, but needed a hook shot from A.J. Ogilvy with 30 seconds to play and some late 3-point shooting by Shan Foster to escape with an 83-80 win.
“That was an ugly game, but a good game,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “It was very competitive, obviously.”
Foster was 4-of-9 from beyond the arc and tied a season high with 26 points while Ogilvy matched a season high with 23. Foster, a senior swingman, is averaging a team-high 20.4 points per game and Ogilvy - a freshman center from Australia - is second with 18.8 points and leads Vanderbilt with 5.9 rebounds a contest.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman,” Stallings said of Ogilvy. “His composure is good, but when he loses his composure, you can’t see it. It’s an internalized thing. I’m still getting to learn him.
“He’s a good player and he knows how to play. Tonight he was good, but I wouldn’t say he was spectacular. He has a lot more in him.”
Thanks to the inside-outside presence from the pair, the Commodores are off to their best start since 2003-04, when they opened with 12 straight wins and reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
After starting 2007-08 with five losses in six games, Lipscomb capped a 3-0 homestand on Monday with a 66-58 win over Arkansas Tech. Freshman forward Brandon Brown led the Bisons (4-5) with 19 points and 10 rebounds, continuing to impress coach Scott Sanderson.
“Brandon has stepped up his level of play,” Sanderson told the school’s official Web site. “He is not very big at all. But he gets so many rebounds a game because he goes hard to the basket every single time. No matter what we do offensively or defensively, Brandon knows how to do it.”
Brown is second in the Atlantic Sun Conference with 82 rebounds this season.
Eddie Ard came off the bench for the first time this season to add 13 points and nine rebounds in Monday’s win. Ard leads Lipscomb in scoring with 13.1 points per game, but Sanderson is looking for more from the senior swingman.
“Eddie has not gotten off to a very good start,” Sanderson said. “He has lost his confidence a little bit. He is trying to work his way through it.”
Last season, these teams met for the first time since 1955, and Vanderbilt came away with a 59-50 win at home behind 18 points from Derrick Byars. Ard led Lipscomb with 14.