NASHVILLE (AP) — Vanderbilt used a balanced offensive attack to get a win over Davidson on Monday night.
Scottie Pippen Jr. scored 18 points, while Aaron Nesmith added 17 as Vanderbilt (8-4) beat Davidson 76-71.
Nesmith matched his career high of 34 in the Commodores' last game, an 88-73 win over UNC-Wilmington, but that didn’t sit well with coach Jerry Stackhouse, even though it was a victory.
“We’re trying to find more contributions,” Stackhouse said. “We’re talking about having a couple more guys step up. It was a great win, but I was really happy with the way Aaron approached the game. He didn’t come in trying to force things.”
Nesmith knows that if the Commodores are going to have any success the rest of the season, they’re going to have to find more options on offense.
“If we want to be successful down the road that’s how we’re going to have to play,” Nesmith said. “It takes five people to win a basketball game.”
Saben Lee scored 11 points and Dylan Disu had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Vanderbilt.
Kellen Grady scored 16 points and Carter Collins had 13 for Davidson (6-6). Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 12 and pulled down a team-high six rebounds, while Mike Jones and Hyunjung Lee each added 10 points.
Vanderbilt started the game on an 11-2 run with all five starters attempting at least one shot, a sign that the Commodores were trying to find some balance early.
The Commodores used a 23-4 run late in the first half to build a 44-27 halftime lead. This was done largely without Nesmith, who was the Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer entering the contest averaging 23.5 points per game. He didn’t score his first basket until 3:37 left in the first half. He made a layup then and followed it with a dunk to finish the first half with four points.
Davidson coach Bob McKillop saw flashes of greatness from his team, but ultimately the night ended in frustration for the veteran, who is in his 31st season with the Wildcats.
“There were so many moments tonight where we played great, great, great basketball,” McKillop said. “And then there were so many moments where we played just not very good basketball. The consistency was lacking and that’s the disappointment.”
Vanderbilt: The Commodores built their largest lead of the game at 56-32 with 15:48 to go. After that they went cold, including a spell of more than 13 minutes without a field goal. Vanderbilt countered that by going 21-for-29 from the free throw line in the second half.
Davidson: The Wildcats shot only 33% from the field in the first half (9 of 27), which helped Vanderbilt extend its lead.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores forced 15 Davidson turnovers, but committed 14 of their own.
Davidson: Grady and Gudmundsson, the Wildcats’ two leading scorers, were a combined 9-for-23 from the field.
Vanderbilt hosts SMU on Saturday, the Commodores’ final game before opening SEC play.
Davidson opens Atlantic 10 C onference play on Sunday in Pittsburgh against Duquesne.
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