NASHVILLE (AP) — Scottie Pippen Jr. scored 18 points, Aaron Nesmith added 17 points and Vanderbilt beat Davidson 76-71 on Monday night.
Saben Lee tossed in 11 points, while Dylan Disu had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Vanderbilt (8-4).
Davidson (6-6) was led by Kellen Grady’s 16 points and Carter Collins had 13. Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 12 and pulled down a team-high six rebounds while Mike Jones and Hyunjung Lee each added 10 points each.
The Commodores used a balanced attack offensively and a stout defense to secure the victory. Davidson got to within six late in the second half a couple times but couldn’t pull closer than that until Gudmundsson hit a 3 with four seconds left to give the game its final margin.
Vanderbilt started the game on an 11-2 run with all five starters attempting at least one shot. Stackhouse was upset with his team after its last game because he felt the Commodores needed more players scoring.
The Commodores used a 23-4 run late in the first half to build a 44-27 lead at the break. This was done largely without Nesmith, who was the Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer entering the contest with at 23.5 points per game. He didn’t score his first basket until 3:37 left in the first half. He made a layup then and followed it with a dunk to end the first half with four points.
Nesmith tied a career high with 34 points in Vanderbilt’s previous game, an 88-73 victory over UNC-Wilmington on Dec. 21.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores built their largest lead of the game at 56-32 with 15:48 to go . After that they went cold, including a spell of more than 13 minutes without a field goal. Vanderbilt countered that by going 25-for-37 from the free throw line in the second half.
Davidson: The Wildcats shot only 33% from the field in the first half (9 of 27), which helped Vanderbilt extend its lead.
Vanderbilt hosts SMU on Saturday, the Commodores’ last game before opening SEC play. Davidson will open conference play on Sunday in Pittsburgh against Duquesne.
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