Downey Dominates, but Vanderbilt Beats South Carolina 89-79

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Downey Dominates, but Vanderbilt Beats South Carolina 89-79
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

My dad has always loved telling me Pete Maravich stories.

As a Kentucky fan, his favorites always included the ridiculous amount of points the Pistol scored against UK in losing efforts. Dad would always say, "It doesn't matter how many points one person scores, as long as you stop the other four."

In Maravich's six games against Kentucky, he averaged a staggering 52 points.

52!

Do you know how many times LSU beat Kentucky while Maravich was there?

Zero.

Sometimes unbelievable offensive performances are wasted.

That was the case in Vanderbilt's 89-79 win against South Carolina today in Columbia. Devan Downey scored 35 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, and six steals. He single-handedly kept the Gamecocks within striking distance. Coach Stallings praised his effort throughout his postgame comments.

"Downey was sensational," Stallings said. "I was telling our guys in the locker room, when I was an assistant for Coach Williams at Kansas we had a guy give us 48 one night and we won. We were fortunate he had a good game and we won."

For Vanderbilt, the victory marked the end to a decisive two-game road trip. These past two victories have given Stallings his first 3-0 start to SEC play. He was asked the importance of getting two road wins.

"It's huge," Stallings said. "We talked about at the beginning of the week how good we'd feel on Sunday if we could get two road wins. Now we'll hopefully get to experience that tomorrow.

"It was big. Any road win in this league is a great win. It's always going to be a hard fought win because the teams are too good and the coaches are too good. We're very happy to have won and have such a good week."

A couple quick thoughts on the game:

Jeffery Taylor has quickly become the team leader. He is getting in people's faces, keeping the team focused, and getting everybody excited. It's a lot of fun to watch. Joe Fisher called him "demonstrative." I think he could have said emotional.

A.J. Ogilvy was the consensus player of the game for Vandy. He scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half.

The weirdest comment of the night was from one of the CSS broadcasters. They said South Carolina coach Darrin Horn things A.J. is the strongest player in the conference. Interesting.

The most beautiful thing about this team is that we have four players who can carry us in the scoring column. As long as two of them show up on a given night, the team has a good chance to win.

Tonight, Taylor and Ogilvy lead the way. John Jenkins and Jermaine Beal contributed, but not as much as usual. That's another good example of why you don't want to rely on one player giving you 30 points a night.

Next up for the Commodores is the Auburn Tigers. I still think they are one of the worst teams in the league, even though they played Kentucky very well today. A win against Auburn lifts Vandy to 4-0.

After that are the two most brutal road games of the year: at Tennessee and at Kentucky. Who wouldn't be trilled with a split of those two games?

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