Guards Aaron Nesmith (26 points), Saben Lee (17) and freshman Scotty Pippen Jr. (21) helped Vanderbilt pull away from Austin Peay as the Commodores scored a 90-72 victory over the visiting Governors at Nashville’s Memorial Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
Austin Peay (1-3) freshman guard Jordyn Adams — a former Baylor commit — scored a career-high 25, going 8 of 11 from the field with four 3-pointers. Guard Reginald Gee added 14. Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference forward Terry Taylor, the Governors’ best player, had 13, but needed 15 shots to do it.
Lee added a career-high nine assists for the Commodores (3-1). Pippen’s point total was a career high.
It was close most of the night, but the Commodores gradually pulled away from there, thanks to some easier points coming on fast-break opportunities as the second half unfolded.
It was a foul-plagued affair on both sides; each team had four players with at least three fouls with 11:32 left, and two Austin Peay players (Gee and guard Evan Hainson) each had four. A fourth, guard Antwuan Butler, picked up his fourth with 10:02 left.
Vanderbilt took a 46-42 lead, its biggest of the night since four minutes into the game, on back-to-back 3s by Pippen Jr. and Nesmith, the last coming with 16:57 left.
Guard Jordan Wright hit a 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock gave Vandy a five-point edge at 13:49, and Lee’s dunk about two minutes later off a Pippen pushed the edge to seven.
Nesmith’s reverse lay-up with 9:06 to play — coming on a rebound and a fast-break assist from guard Max Evans — made it 64-56, Vandy.
Nesmith gave Vanderbilt its first double-digit lead when on forward Dylan Disu’s assist of a layup at 5:58. The sophomore’s ensuing free throw made it 73-62.
The Governors led 29-20, matching their biggest advantage of the first half, when Adams knocked down a 3-pointer with 6:44 left before the half.
But Vandy ended the half with a 38-37 lead, thanks to a steal by forward Matthew Moyer that led to a tip-in by Wright with 6.7 seconds left in the first half.
Both teams were in the bonus by 12:10 of the first half.
—Field Level Media