Jerry Stackhouse’s collegiate coaching debut was a success, as host Vanderbilt beat Southeast Missouri State 83-65 in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday in the season debut for both teams.
It snapped the 20-game losing streak the Commodores took into this season.
Sophomore guard Aaron Nesmith hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and led Vanderbilt with 25 points, followed by guard Saben Lee’s 21 and forward Clevon Brown’s 15.
The Commodores grabbed a double-digit lead early, but had issues putting the Redhawks away. Guard Chris Harris, a junior college transfer playing his first game for Southeast Missouri State, led the team with 15 points off the bench
Southeast Missouri State took its first lead at 34-32 when forward Quatarrius Wilson (12 points, 13 rebounds) grabbed his own miss and laid it in less than one minute into the second half.
Vanderbilt clung to a 51-50 lead when Nesmith took over, hitting a trey with 12:06 left, and then another 3-pointer on a Lee assist with 10:35 remaining.
Nesmith’s steal led to Lee’s 3-pointer with 8:30 left, putting Vanderbilt back up double digits for the first time in the half.
The Redhawks pulled within five with under five minutes to play, but the Commodores pulled away down the stretch.
Vanderbilt got off to a terrific start, with Brown and Nesmith knocking down treys in the game’s first minute. Brown nailed another at 18:20 off an assist from Scotty Pippen Jr., then Pippen drove the lane and banked in a lay-up, extending the lead to 11-0.
The Redhawks got their first bucket when guard Alex Caldwell converted a lay-up at 15:55. A Nesmith 3-pointer at 14:01 gave Vanderbilt its first double-digit lead at 16-6.
Vandy looked on the verge of running away with it early, but instead put Southeast Missouri State into the bonus about midway through the first half.
That opened driving lanes for the Redhawks, who went on a run late in the half, erasing a 17-point lead to tie it at 32 on Wilson’s lay-up with 1:16 left in the half. That was the score at the break.
Harris, who had nine off the bench in the first half, was key during that run.
Pippen (six assists) is the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who had a front-row seat to watch his son’s collegiate debut.
—Field Level Media