Nashville, TN – A pair of top-25 foes meet in Nashville this conference bout at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Musketeers are facing their first road-test of the young season tonight, having faced the likes of Morgan State, IPFW, Miami-Ohio, and most recently Georgia at home. Xavier dispatched the Bulldogs in a 70-56 final on Thursday, giving the squad a 4-0 start to the new campaign.
As for Vanderbilt, the Commodores moved to 5-1 on the year with a decisive 95-73 win over Monmouth on Friday night. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Commodores.
Xavier was on the winning end of an 80-68 final the last time the two met in the first round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, and the Musketeers own a 4-0 advantage in terms of the all-time series between the two programs.
The Musketeers led by as many as 36 points in the second half of Friday's win over Georgia, a contest in which Xavier shot at a 49.0 percent clip and boasted four players with a double-digit finish. Kenny Frease scored 12 points to lead the way, grabbing nine rebounds in the process, while Tu Halloway notched 12 points to go with four assists. Travis Taylor registered a double- double of 10 points and 12 boards, while Mark Lyons netted 10 points as well. Xavier currently owns a 49.3 team shooting percentage, and as a result average a healthy 74.0 points per game. Lyons, with a 17.8 ppg average, leads the club in scoring, and is joined in double figures by Halloway and Dezmine Wells, who have been responsible for 15.0 and 10.5 ppg, respectively. Frease has been solid in the early-going as well, chipping in 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while blocking 14 shots over the first four contests.
John Jenkins led five players in double figures with his 18 points during the Commodores' win over Monmouth. The Commodores shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the floor and hit 11-of-25 from beyond the arc during the game, while limiting Monmouth to just 44.8 percent from the floor. Jeffery Taylor and Brad Tinsley added 16 points apiece for Vanderbilt, while Dai-Jon Parker and Josh Henderson checked in from the bench to net 10 points each. Jenkins, currently the SEC's leading scorer, paces the Commodores with a 20.2 ppg average. He is joined in double figures by Taylor and his 15.0 ppg, and Tinsley, who checks in with 11.8 ppg. Resting on the cusp of a double-digit average is Lance Goulbourne, who has been responsible for 9.8 points to go with a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game. The Commodores average 76.8 ppg thanks in part to a 46.3 team shooting percentage, and have been stingy on defense to the tune of a 69.5 ppg average for the opposition.