Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli (3) collides with LSU forward Storm Warren (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday, March 10, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo)
ATLANTA (AP) - Jeffery Taylor scored 21 points and Vanderbilt held on for an ugly 62-50 win over LSU Thursday night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament, even without the league's top scorer.
Guard John Jenkins, averaging more than 19 points a game, sat out after tweaking his left foot in the regular-season finale against Florida last weekend. He went through warmups, and school officials said he was available if needed.
He wasn't needed, though.
After a sluggish start, the Commodores (22-9) pulled away to lead by as many as 14 in the first half. They stretched the margin to 20 points against last-place LSU (11-21), which closed out its second straight 20-loss season after winning the SEC title in 2009.
Andre Stringer led the Tigers with 13 points.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)