Demetri McCamey, right, looks for a way around Vanderbilt's Brad Tinsley. (AP)
Nov. 20, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Demetri McCamey's shooting had multiple benefits for Illinois in a 69-63 victory over Vanderbilt on Thursday.
The sophomore guard made a game-high nine baskets, including five 3-pointers. McCamey's game not only produced 23 points, but it also created more room for the Illini's big men near the basket. The result was a decisive edge in offensive rebounds (21-13) and an overwhelming margin in second-chance points (20-5).
"Once we moved in our offense they were out helping," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "Our big guys are diving to the bucket and they're getting some tip-ins or second-chance opportunities. That probably was the difference-maker in the second half."
The Commodores (1-1) had a 20-14 rebounding edge in the first half but gave up 28 total, 13 on the offensive end, in the second half. The Illini (3-0) finished with a 42-33 advantage on the boards.
"That was a sorry rebounding effort on our part," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "So we have to get to work on that."
McCamey's layup broke a tie at 58 with 6:22 remaining, and started a 7-0 run that put Illinois in front to stay. His 3-pointer as the first half expired gave the Illini a 36-35 lead at the intermission.
"The shots fell, but the defense really picked it up," McCamey said. "The defense was there all night."
Jermaine Beal made two foul shots with 1:38 left and got VU (1-1) within two points. Beal then missed a game-tying layup with 22 seconds to go, and A.J. Ogilvy missed a subsequent tip of his own.
For the game, the Commodores made just 13 of 21 free throws (61.9 percent).
"For us, that's big," Weber said. "We were just one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country (last season)."
Vanderbilt tied the game at 58 on a free throw by Ogilvy with 6:56 remaining, but then was held scoreless until Andre Walker made a layup and a foul shot with 2:13 to play.
Ogilvy led the Commodores with 13 points and had six rebounds and three blocked shots. Freshmen Jeffrey Taylor and Brad Tinsley added 11 each.
The loss snapped Vanderbilt's 20-game win streak at Memorial Gymnasium.
"We knew about (the streak) going into the game," Davis said. "This gives us a great deal of confidence to come in here and get a win like this."