NASHVILLE, Tn-The Vanderbilt Commodores ended the decade on a winning note Monday night with a 76-71 win over the visiting Davidson Wildcats at Memorial Gym.
Scottie Pippen Jr. led Vanderbilt with 18 points, 12 of those coming in the second half that included the Commodores going the final 13:09 of the second half without a made field goal, yet managed to hold on for the victory to improve to 8-4 on the season..
Vanderbilt got on the board first in the opening seconds as Jordan Wright connected from long range to give the Commodores their first lead of the night, and one which they hold throughout the game, never trailing in the contest.
From there the Commodores scorched the nets, scoring 44 first-half points. It was the third-highest scoring half of the season to date. Included in that first half, Vanderbilt connected on 17 of 25 shots from the floor, good for 68% from the floor in the half.
Of those 17 made field goals, six came from long range as the Commodores missed on just four three-point attempts in the frame, shooting 60% from behind the arc as they built a 44-27 halftime advantage.
Saben Lee led the Commodores in the first half with 11 points while Maxwell Evans added 8, with six coming on two three-point baskets. Pippen Jr. and Dylan Disu followed with 6 points each while Jordan Wright dropped in 5 through the first twenty minutes of play.
Leading scorer Aaron Nesmith, who entered the game averaging 23.5 ppg was held to just 4 first-half points, his first basket coming with 3:36 left in the first half.
The Commodores set a season-high for made free-throws in a game, connecting on 25 of 37 from the line, and needed every one fo them down the stretch.
Vanderbilt finished the game 22 of 47 from the floor-5 of 22 in the second half- good for 47% on the night.
Nesmith finished the game with 17 points, followed by Lee with 11 and Disu with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. It was his second double-double of the season.
Kellan Grady, who was the leading scorer for Davidson entering the contest finished with 16 to once again lead the Wildcats. Carter Collins followed with 13, Jon Axel Gudmunsson with 12 while Mike Jones and Hyunjung Lee added 10 each.
The Commodores now turn their attention to the new year and a visit from the SMU Mustangs this coming Saturday night in a 7 pm tipoff at Memorial Gym.