East Rutherford, NJ – The title game of the Legends Classic features a matchup between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Oregon State Beavers.
Vanderbilt dropped significantly in the national rankings after suffering a 13-point home loss to Cleveland State last week. Fortunately, the Commodores have bounced back strong, beating their last two opponents to move to 3-1 overall. In the semifinal round of this event on Saturday, Vanderbilt managed to hold off a pesky NC State team by an 86-79 final.
Craig Robinson and his Oregon State squad are undoubtedly still flying high after Saturday's thrilling 100-95 victory over Texas in overtime. That win was the fourth in a row for the Beavers to start this new season, and they reached the 100-point plateau for the first time since 1997. The hope is that they can make some noise in the Pac-12 this season, a league that seems to be up for grabs.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Vanderbilt and Oregon State on the hardwood.
Vanderbilt continues to play without standout forward Festus Ezeli, who figures to miss another month due to injury. Fortunately, there is plenty of talent in the active lineup. John Jenkins is a dynamic scorer who is racking up 23.0 ppg. Jeffery Taylor provides 15.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg, while Brad Tinsley adds 11.5 ppg to the mix. Rounding out a foursome of double-digit scorers is Lance Goulbourne with 10.8 ppg for the Commodores, who are netting 75.5 ppg while surrendering 70.5 ppg. In the win over NC State on Saturday, Jenkins poured in 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting form the field. Taylor added 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Goulbourne pitched in 15 points. Tinsley netted 14 points in the win, as the Commodores connected on 51.9 percent of their field goal attempts and outscored the Wolfpack 21-13 from the foul line.
Jared Cunningham poured in a career-high 37 points for Oregon State in Saturday's thrilling win over Texas, and 20 of them from the foul line, Devon Collier contributed 17 points and seven rebounds, two behind Cunningham's team-high nine boards. Angus Brandt posted 14 points for the Beavers, who forced 23 turnovers in the affair and earned a 31-22 edge in points from the charity stripe. Considering the fact that Cunningham scored 35 of his team's 82 points in the previous game against Hofstra, it is obvious that he is in for a huge season. The standout is netting 26.0 ppg on 54 percent shooting from the field, while Collier (16.0 ppg) serves as a solid second scoring option. The Beavers are netting 90.2 ppg on 52.5 percent field goal efficiency and are holding opponents to 72.2 ppg.