NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt took charge early and never let up in a lopsided, 97-60 win over South Carolina State on Friday night.
Aaron Nesmith scored 20 points and Clevon Brown added a career-high 19 to lead six Commodores in double figures.
“Great job by our guys tonight,” Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “I thought they really came out and set the tone early, and just competed all over the floor on the defensive end. Got after it.”
A former NBA star, Stackhouse improved to 4-1 in his first year after inheriting a team that was coming off its worst season in school history.
Nesmith entered the game leading the nation in 3-pointers (5.25 per game) and ranked third in scoring (26.5).
“Vanderbilt does an excellent job of getting the ball to Nesmith in spots where he can be very successful,” Bulldogs coach Murray Garvin said. “I’ve known that young man since high school. He is a South Carolina native and I’m very familiar with high school and AAU program. I think coach Stackhouse is really going to help him prosper into being a pro.”
Nesmith hit 7 of 11 from the floor, including four 3-pointers.
“He’s so athletic, he understands his strengths,” Garvin said. “He does a good job of just doing what he’s capable of doing. He’s excellent at the catch and shoot. I think they run a lot of set plays to get him shots and you have to have a big guard that is just as athletic as him to guard him. He’s worked himself into being a fabulous player.”
Brown attacked the basket, slamming five dunks in the first half.
“The guards just found me in the (pick and) roll,” Brown said. “I was open in the roll and they trusted me to finish it.”
Scotty Pippen Jr. led the Commodores with eight assists and Saben Lee came off the bench with six.
Vanderbilt, playing its second game in three days, showed no fatigue as it seized a 19-point halftime lead.
Maxwell Evans scored 15 points, Lee had 12 and Dylan Disu added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Commodores, the Southeastern Conference leader in field goal percentage, shot 60% from the floor.
SC State (2-3) shot 64.9 % from the floor in its previous game but cooled off at 40% against the Commodores.
Vanderbilt shot 61 percent from the floor in the first half, its best shooting first half of the season.
South Carolina State: The Bulldogs fell behind early and couldn’t catch up.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores showed some inside presence after relying on their guards in their previous game. Vanderbilt outscored SC State 46-26 in the paint.
Vanderbilt’s Trace Arbuckle got a standing ovation from the student section when he scored his first career basket on his first shot, a 3-pointer from the left side with 28 seconds left for the game’s final score.
The Commodores wore 1968 throwback uniforms. Perry Wallace, the first black player in the SEC, played his first season for the Commodores in 1967-68.
South Carolina State visits Austin Peay (1-3), which has lost three straight, on Monday.
Vanderbilt hosts Southeastern Louisiana (2-3), which had four scorers in double figures in its last game, on Monday.
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