NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Rod Odom scored a career-high 24 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and the short-handed Vanderbilt Commodores beat Missouri 78-75 Thursday night in the Tigers' first visit to Memorial Gym as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
Vanderbilt (9-6, 1-2) snapped a two-game skid by avoiding foul trouble and hitting a season-high 12 3-pointers. The Commodores are down to seven scholarship players after leading scorer Eric McClellan first was suspended from the university, then kicked off the team for good last week. They lost their first two games without McClellan.
Missouri (13-3, 1-2) now has lost two of three. The Tigers were looking for their third road win this season trying to work their way back into the Top 25.
The Tigers opened the second half by scoring the first eight points in taking their first lead since the opening bucket on a layup by Williams at 40-39. The teams swapped the lead back and forth before Fuller finished off a fast-break with a layup for Vanderbilt putting the Commodores back ahead 45-44 with 13:30 to go. That started a 10-2 spurt featuring a pair of 3s from Odom, the second giving Vandy a 53-46 lead with 10:52 remaining.
Misssouri pulled within 60-57 on a jumper by Brown with 4:17 left. First Fuller hit a 3-pointer, then Odom added his sixth 3 to push the lead to 66-59 with 2:00 left. The Tigers couldn't get closer than the final score on a 3-pointer by Clarkson with 2 seconds left as Vanderbilt went 6 of 7 at the free throw line in the final 40 seconds with Fuller hitting all six of attempts at the line to seal the win.
These are two of the SEC's best shooting teams and the league's best defending against the 3-pointer with Vanderbilt (27.8 percent) just ahead of Missouri (28.6 percent). The Commodores shredded Missouri's defense as they knocked down 3 after 3 and finished 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) -- both season-highs allowed by the Tigers. That more than made up for Missouri outrebounding Vanderbilt 45-35 and the Tigers' 36-16 scoring edge in the paint.
Missouri opened the game with a 3 by Brown for the Tigers' biggest lead of the game.
Then Vanderbilt went on a 17-2 run started by a 3-pointer from Odom and Parker. Missouri countered with its own 14-4 run to get close. But the Commodores led 39-32 at halftime because they shot better from beyond the arc than they did inside as they hit 8 of their first 16 3-pointers.