EditorsNote: Updates to Nesmith No. 6 scorer in nation entering day in graf 8
SMU rallied from 15 down in the second half, taking Vanderbilt to overtime and earning a 92-81 victory over the Commodores at Nashville’s Memorial Gymnasium in Tennessee on Saturday evening.
Guards Kendrick Davis (24 points) Tyson Jolly (21) and Emmanuel Bandoumel (10) joined forwards Ethan Chargois (18) and Feron Hunt (12) in scoring in double digits for SMU (11-2).
Aaron Nesmith notched a game-high 29 for Vandy (8-5). Guard Scotty Pippen Jr. added 15 points and six assists. Vanderbilt shot 42.9 percent behind the arc and tied a season high with 15 makes.
Vandy’s 15-point second-half lead with little more than six minutes left in regulation dwindled to five entering the final minute. Then Jolly canned a 3 with 26 seconds to play and, after Davis’ backcourt steal, guard Isiaha Mike hit a long 3 with 19 seconds left that sent the game to overtime.
In overtime, SMU drove the ball at Pippen with success. Davis took the freshman into the lane and converted a layup with 3:18 left, making it 81-78.
After a Vandy miss, Bandoumel did the same and added a free throw. The Mustang lead was six and the Commodores never got closer than four.
A pair of Nesmith 3s in the first five minutes of the second half put the Commodores up 55-47. Pippen’s corner 3 from Nesmith gave the Commodores their first double-figure lead next, as VU was 13 of 25 on 3s to that point.
That lead became 69-57 with 7:07 left when Nesmith penetrated the lane, stepped around a pair of SMU defenders, hit a layup and made the ensuing free throw to convert the three-point play. The sophomore, the country’s sixth-leading scorer entering Saturday, buried a 3 from straight away for the game’s next points to give Vanderbilt a 72-57 lead — the biggest of the night for either team.
Chargois scored 11 of the Mustangs’ first 13 points, and SMU had an early 20-8 lead following Isiah Jasey’s layup with 12:56 left. The lead was 10 (31-21) with less than seven minutes to play in the half.
But Vanderbilt rallied when guard Saben Lee, driving the right baseline, skipped a pass over to Nesmith in the left corner, who closed the half with a 3 with 16 seconds left to make it 40-all.
Nesmith led all scorers with 15 at half, canning 5 of 7 from 3 and 5 of 10 from the field.
The Mustangs shot well over 60 percent for most of the first half before cooling off late. SMU committed just three first-half fouls and the Commodores never went to the foul line before the break.
—Field Level Media