Jeffery Taylor scored 20 points and Lance Goulbourne added 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as Vanderbilt overcame a two-point halftime deficit for a 90-69 victory over LSU on Saturday at Baton Rouge.
The 18th-ranked Commodores (21-7, 9-5 in the SEC) trailed 43-41 at halftime but opened the second half with a 12-2 run, which included six points and a big dunk by Taylor. With the victory, they maintained sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division.
LSU (11-18, 3-11), which snapped a 10-game losing streak on Wednesday, got no closer than three points over the final 13 minutes.
"We just played much more aggressively especially in the second half," coach Kevin Stallings said. "“I just thought we became the aggressor. I talk so much about the team that’s the aggressor is the team that has the advantage.
"I was really proud of their effort and really proud of how we played in the second half. That’s obviously what we need to do and how we need to do to be a good team.”
Freshman Rod Odom replaced Goulbourne, who has battled a recent ankle injury, in the starting lineup, but Goulbourne played 23 minutes and made five of seven from the floor. His second 3-pointer, with 12:07 to play, made it 62-59 and ended the Tigers’ final threat.
"I’m not completely 100 percent yet but I’m not going to be until probably the end of the season," Goulbourne said. It’s good to have my explosion back and my speed, quickness and elevation to do the things that I do best.”
For the game, Vanderbilt shot 56.4 percent from the field and had five players finish in double figures. Taylor was 6-for-8 from the floor and made seven of 12 free throws.
John Jenkins, the conference’s leading scorer, made just one first-half field goal but finished with 17 points. Festus Ezeli had 15 points and six blocked shots, and Brad Tinsley contributed 16 points and five assists.
Storm Warren had a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds for LSU.
Warren and Ralston Turner combined to make 10 of 15 shots and scored 32 of the Tigers points in the first half, when they led by as many as seven points. The rest of the team was a combined 6-for-16 in the opening 20 minutes.
Turner finished with 18 points, and Andre Stringer added 10 points.
"Storm Warren and Ralston Turner were killing us so we had to get them shut down, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that in the second half," Goulbourne said. "We made a lot of changes and I think we executed them pretty well.”