Vanderbilt went on a 20-3 run midway through the first half as the Commodores took a 41-20 lead and were never threatened in blasting visiting South Carolina State Bulldogs, 97-60, Friday evening in Nashville, Tenn.
Clevon Brown and Scotty Pippen, Jr. combined for 11 points in that run as Brown ignited the crowd with a slam dunk that gave Vanderbilt (4-1) a 38-20 lead with 4:27 remaining.
Brown had two other slams last in the first half as the Commodores shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, heading to the locker room with a 47-26 halftime advantage.
Vandy finished the game at a 60.3 percent clip while making 12-of-25 3-point field goals.
Aaron Nesmith led all scorers with 20 points while Clevon Brown added a career-high 19 as six Commodores scored in double figures.
Nesmith, who has scored 20 or more points in all five games this season, joined guard Saben Lee to comprise the highest-scoring duo in the nation at 46.3 points per game, entering Friday’s game. Lee had 12 points as they combined for 32.
South Carolina State (2-3) rallied at the outset of the second half when Ian Kinard and Tashombe Riley nailed a pair of 3-pointers. The Bulldogs, out of the MEAC Conference, outscored the Commodores, 16-5, to cut the Vanderbilt advantage to 52-42 with 15:27 to play.
From there, the Commodores reasserted themselves as they made nine of their next 14 shots. Lee combined with Brown for nine points in a 17-4 Vandy run that gave the ‘Dores a 76-52 advantage with 6:06 remaining.
Vandy pounded the paint in outscoring the Bulldogs, 46-26, while scoring 16 points off of 11 offensive rebounds.
Riley joined Damani Applewhite, Rayshawn Neal and Tariq Simmons with nine points each to lead the Bulldogs.
Both teams return to the floor Monday evening with Vanderbilt hosting Southeastern Louisiana while South Carolina State travels to Austin Peay.
—Field Level Media