Wilder registered a game-high 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting. He also tallied five rebounds and three assists. Haymond finished with 18 points and five rebounds.
Vanderbilt did a good job locking down Western Michigan’s . . .
“Against this type of team, especially on the road, you almost have to play mistake free,” said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. “You’ve got to give a ton of credit to Vanderbilt. For us to play in a game like this, we have to play very well at every spot.”
The Commodores are one of the best teams Western Michigan has faced this season, spending the first month of the season ranked in the top 25 before falling out of the poll this past week. Vanderbilt also had the highest RPI rating of any opponent WMU has faced this season, coming in at No. 50.
The Broncos shot 37.0 percent from the floor, slightly higher than Vanderbilt’s defensive average on the season. Entering the game, the Commodores had held opponents to 35.7 percent shooting which led the SEC and ranked fourth in the nation.
Vanderbilt used six first-half three-pointers to build a nine-point lead at the break, 37-28. The Commodores sank 11 three’s in the game, while holding WMU to just 2-for-18 from downtown, resulting in a 27-point discrepancy from behind the arc.
“We just missed too many shots to stay with them and they can get from one end of the floor to another, right now,” Hawkins said. “We lost by 25 and they outscored us by 27 from the three-point line. It doesn’t take much logic to tell you that is where the game was.”
Vanderbilt (8-4) shot 51.8 percent for the game and 60 percent in the second half. Wade Baldwin IV led his team with 15 points and 10 assists. Jeff Roberson also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Three other players reached double digits scoring for the Commodores.
“I don’t think we did a terrible job at guarding them at the half court, but when they get to the full court, they can be really difficult to deal with and our struggles shooting the ball enabled them to do that a lot tonight,” Hawkins said.
Western Michigan out-rebounded Vanderbilt 35-32 and had 14 turnovers while the Commodores committed nine.
WMU (5-7) returns to Kalamazoo to close out non-conference play on Sat. Jan. 2, hosting Jacksonville at 1 p.m. The Broncos then begin Mid-American Conference play hosting Kent State on Jan. 5 and traveling to Akron on Jan. 8. WMU will play three of its first four MAC games at home, also hosting Ball State on Jan. 12 and Northern Illinois on Jan. 16.
(Courtesy of WMU Athletics)