Dayton Denied

Commodores advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Liam Robbins scored with 33 seconds to go in overtime Sunday and then blocked a game-tying shot on the other end to give Vanderbilt a 70-68 win over Dayton in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament at Memorial Gymnasium.

The Commodores (19-16) advance to play at Xavier (20-13) in the quarterfinals. Date and time for that matchup has yet to be announced.

Trailing by eight with eight minutes to play in regulation Sunday, Dayton climbed within two at 51-49 with 4:35 left. At the 3:39 mark, Toumani Camara sank a pair of free throws tying the score at 53-all.

Kobe Elvis briefly gave Dayton a 58-57 lead, a lead that lasted 14 seconds before a Pippen layup. But Elvis responded with a 3-pointer on the other end making it 61-59.

Scotty Pippen’s two free throws tied the scores at 61-61 and Pippen’s assist to Quentin Millora-Brown for an easy layup tied the score at 63-all. Vandy got a turnover with less than 10 seconds to play, but Jordan Wright’s game-winning layup attempt was blocked.

Wright got some redemption less than two minutes into the extra session with a triple coming off a screen on the left wing putting the Commodores up 68-64. They wouldn’t score again for nearly three minutes until Robbins’ heroics in the paint – on the offensive and defensive ends.

Dayton put the ball in Elvis’ hands with the clock running out and the guard drove the right side of the lane where he was met by Robbins. The ball kicked out of bounds and the Memorial Gymnasium crowd went wild.

Pippen finished with 32 points to go along with seven assists and four rebounds.

Elvis led three Flyers in double figures with 20. Dayton ended its season at 24-11.

Vanderbilt took an early, 10-6 lead thanks to an 8-0 run on the strength of a pair of Rodney Chatman triples and a nifty Pippen layup. Dayton would go nearly four minutes without a field goal as the Commodores grew their lead to 14-6 on a Jamaine Mann layup.

Down 10, Dayton answered with a 10-0 to tie the score at 18-all and eventually took a 20-18 lead on a pair of free throws. Vandy went 8:39 without a made field goal and missed nine straight shots during that span.

Vandy went into the locker room down 26-25 after shooting 36 percent and getting outscored 22-8 in the paint. Pippen went 5-for-11 from the field while the rest of the Commodores finished 4 of 14.

Vanderbilt began to find their offensive footing the second half and got five straight points in less than two minutes to go up 30-26. From there, there were six lead changes and two ties before a Tyrin Lawrence layup followed by a Chatman 3 put Vandy ahead 45-40.

Pippen’s 3 from the left side with exactly eight minutes left put the Dores up 48-40 — and that set up the dramatic conclusion.

  • Vanderbilt improved to 1-1 in overtime this season and won its first overtime game since March 10, 2017, vs. Florida in the SEC Tournament.
  • Pippen’s 30-point game was the eighth of his career.
  • A Vandy win Sunday gave the Commodores 11 home wins this season, their most since winning 11 in both in the 2017-18 and 2016-17 seasons.
  • Sunday’s game for Vanderbilt was its latest in the month of March since playing March 24 in 2015 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Pippen Jr. (1,549) is still 12th on Vanderbilt’s all-time scoring list. Jeff Fosnes (1,579) is 11th.
  • Pippen Jr. has 708 points this season, the most ever in a single Vanderbilt season.
  • Pippen now has the eighth-most steals in a Vanderbilt career with 142. Jeffery Taylor is seventh with 146.
  • Wright has started 40 straight games for Vanderbilt.
  • The Commodores are now 5-2 all-time against Dayton and 3-1 in home games.
  • Vandy is now 5-12 this season when trailing at halftime and is 12-2 when scoring at least 75 points.
  • Attendance on Sunday was announced as 8,323.