The Fighting Illini (3-0) denied the Commodores (1-1) their 21st win in a row at Memorial Gym in Nashville, TN. It took an entire team effort from the team located in Champaign to defeat Vanderbilt 69-63.
Demetri McCamey, who is only a sophomore, led the visiting team with 23 points while dishing out six assists in his 35 minutes of play. This isn't the first time McCamey has put up big numbers for the Illini. Last season he put up 31 points against Indiana, when Eric Gordon came back to Assembly Hall after deciding to decommit from Illinois.
Mike Davis, another sophomore, didn't have a great game from the field, going 3-12, but he didn't let that affect the rest of his game. Davis, a 6'9" power forward, still had 11 points and was dominant on the glass with 12 rebounds.
The key for Illinois was how well they shot the ball from the charity stripe. A year after shooting under 61 percent from the line, the Illini went 11-11 on their free throws. The Illini also shot the ball well from downtown, as Trent Meacham, a fifth-year player, and McCamey combined to go 9-16.
Vanderbilt, another young team, lost a heartbreaker, but if they play like tonight, they should have another successful season.
The Commodores lost four seniors from last season and were led by 6'11" sophomore A.J. Ogilvy with 13 points and seven boards. The super sophomore from Australia will have to keep up having big nights, or Vanderbilt will have a hard time in the SEC East.
Vanderbilt also received major contributions from Jeffrey Taylor, Brad Tinsley, and Andre Walker, who all scored in double digits.
The team from Nashville should play better as the season progresses, as they don't have any seniors, and should mature a great deal by Jan. 10, when they begin their conference season at Kentucky.