Nashville, Tn: There was nothing pretty other than the final score for the Vanderbilt Commodores on Monday night as they struggled the entire game before finally putting away the visiting Lions of Southeast Louisiana 78-70 on Monday at Memorial Gym.
SELA jumped out to a 4-0 advantage early in the first minute of the game and lead by as much as seven early on. They never relinquished the lead, thought the Commodores fought back to tie the contest at 25-25 with 5:45 remaining in the half.
The Commodores would tie the game at 27-27 just 3:26 later after both teams missed on six consecutive shots. The Commodores would take their first lead of the game when Aaron Nesmith connected from three point range with 2:05 left to give the home team a 30-29 lead.
Following a Lions basket, Saben Lee would match Nesmith on the ensuing Commodores possession, nailing a three from the left corner to extend the 33-29.
The Lions would add a final bucket before intermission, but entered the half trailing 33-31.
The first half was a nightmare for the Commodores shooters, who in the previous two contests had shot at a 60 or better percentage as Vanderbilt was just 5 of 19 through the first twelve minutes of the half. They would end the half just 10 of 30 for 33.3% in the first half.
On the other side, SELA managed just 9 of 19 made baskets in that same stretch. The Lions completed the first half 14 of 35, a 40% mark for the half.
Ty Breweer lead the Lions, and all scorers in the first half with 12 first half points, followe3d by Neasmith with 11 points. Nesmigh was three of five from behind the arc in the half, for 9 of his 11 points.
After struggling the last two games from the free-throw stripe, the Commodores connected on 8 of 11 attempts in the half.
In the second half, the two temas traded baskets, with SELA retaking the lead 42-40 with 15:10 remaining, but Vanderbilt would answer with a driving layup by Maxwell Evens followed by back-to-back three pointers from Dylan Disu and Nesmith to jump out to a 48-42 advantage, their largest of the game to that point.
The Commodores would increas their advantage to 53-44 and hold the lead, though never more than 10 points at 73-63 with 2:01 left to play as Vanderbilt held on down the stretch for a 78-70 win.
Five Commodores ended the night in double figures, led by Evans, who tied his career hing with 16 points. Scottie Pippen Jr. tosse in 15, Nesmith added 14, tweleve below his season average, followed by Saben Lee with 12 and Disu with 11 points in the win.
Ty Brewer led the Lions, and all scorers with 26 on the night.
The Commodores improve to 6-1 on the young season and will return to action on Saturday as they host Tulsa at Memorial Gym.