Dores Downed in Overtime

Pippen, Wright each score 16 in hard-fought loss to Temple

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Damian Dunn hit a 3 with 20 seconds remaining in overtime Tuesday to give Temple a four-point lead over the Commodores, and the Owls escaped Memorial Gymnasium with a 72-68 win.

Vanderbilt (5-3) had forced overtime with a buzzer-beating 3 out of the hands of Scotty Pippen Jr. They also led by five early in the extra session before the Owls regrouped and closed out their victory on the road.

Pippen and Jordan Wright each scored 16, while Jamaine Mann added 15. Wright also pulled down 11 rebounds.

Vandy will return to Memorial Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Friday to host Loyola of Chicago (8-2).

“Disappointed. Obviously our guys battled after a really slow start and continued to battle, battle, battle and was able to force overtime. Then in the overtime we just came up a little short,” Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “I thought (Wright) was really good for us late in the game and in overtime, but we just made some careless mistakes understanding time and score. We got to make teams make baskets … not allow them to go to the free throw line with open-court fouls and things like that.

“But those are things that we’ll work on and talk about and get better from.”

Trailing 45-41 with 3:51 remaining in regulation Tuesday, Vanderbilt had chances to draw even closer, but they couldn’t capitalize on numerous opportunities. A Dunn 3 from the left corner with 1:49 to play looked like it may have iced the contest.

But the Dores kept coming and found themselves with the ball under their own basket with 2.7 seconds on the clock. Wright found Pippen curling off a screen into the left corner, and the Preseason SEC Player of the Year nailed a 3 to tie the game at 58-58.

Vanderbilt was 0-for-12 from distance before Pippen’s shot.

“We work on it all the time,” Wright said of the play to force overtime. “I knew it was going in. I felt the game was over at that point and we were going to come up with the win. We had a lot of momentum.

“We never quit, we just kept fighting, kept grinding through that last minute and 30 seconds. I thought everything was going to open up after that shot.”

After Wright scored the first five points of overtime, Temple would make five consecutive free throws to edge back in front 67-66 before Dunn’s crucial long-range shot.

Dunn scored 18 to go along with seven rebounds for the Owls (6-3), while Tai Strickland finished with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Temple jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the first half thanks to a four-point play by Dunn and a Quincy Ademokoya triple from the right corner. Though Vanderbilt began the night 1-for-9 from the floor, they still were up 10-9 when Pippen’s 3 from the left wing splashed in at the 13:32 mark.

Vandy separated itself with an 8-2 run capped off by a steal and a Mann two-handed-slam. Out of a timeout, Trey Thomas bounced in a 3 from the left side, giving the Dores a 21-12 advantage.

But the Owls stormed right back with a 9-2 run and got within two at 23-21 with 4:11 to go in the half. Temple then rattled off seven points in a row and went up 28-23 on Sage Tolbert’s and-1 dunk with 83 seconds left in the half.

Temple would settle for a 28-25 edge at the break, while it held the Commodores to a 27.6 percent shooting clip.

“I think it just starts with making shots,” Wright said. “Guys are packing the lane because we’re not making shots, so that’s creating a lot of stagnant (offense). We’re not moving the ball as much—but it just starts with making shots.

“The key for our offense to thrive is us making shots, hitting those 3s, getting good looks. Then that opens up the rim to drive and hitting the pocket for the bigs.”

The Owls quickly opened a 10-point lead in the second half, thanks to a Strickland triple from the top of the key. Vanderbilt went ice cold from the floor, missing 12 of its first 13 shots of the second half.

Vanderbilt crept within seven with 9:37 to play, 6:05 to play and 4:36 to play until three Wright free throws made it a 45-41 game with 4:14 left. That set up the final and decisive four minutes.

The Commodores were held to four assists and were out-rebounded 49-42. Temple was 30 of 37 from the line.

“I got no complaints about the effort,” Stackhouse said. “On a night where it seemed like nothing was going our way—we were 5-for-19 in the paint in the first half. We feel like over time those shots will go down for us, and we can continue to get there.

“That’s the good thing is that we are getting there, just got to convert.”

  • Pippen is now 25 points away from 1,000 for his career.
  • The double-double for Wright was his second straight.
  • Wright has started in 23 straight games for the Commodores.
  • Thomas has played in 33 straight games for Vandy.
  • Vanderbilt is now 1-3 all-time against Temple and 54-41 against programs from the American Athletic Conference.
  • The Commodores have made at least two 3s in 47 straight games.
  • Vandy has lost 16 games in a row when trailing at halftime.
  • Attendance on Tuesday was announced as 5,239.

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