Dores Weave Past Bobcats

Scotty Pippen Jr. scores 30 in win as Vandy moves to 2-0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 30 and Jordan Wright added 16 as Vanderbilt pulled away from a tough Texas State team Sunday at Memorial Gymnasium in a 79-60 victory.

Up 53-49 with 7:47 to go, the Commodores (2-0) exploded with a 19-6 run to pull away for good. Pippen scored 24 in the second half. Myles Stute added 12 for the Commodores.

“Me and coach (Jerry) Stackhouse we’ve been going back and forth – the main focus for me to see is poise, when to get my teammates open, when to score,” Pippen said. “Some games I might have 10 points, some games I might have 40. Just picking my spots, taking the right shots, trying to be more efficient. Not trying to force anything and letting the game come to me.”

On Sunday, Texas State opened the night on a 10-2 run thanks to a 4-for-5 shooting start. But Vandy responded with a 13-2 run of its own and took a 15-12 lead on back-to-back Stute 3s.

The Bobcats edged back ahead with six straight points from Drue Dinnon and then went up 23-19 on a right-side, kick-out 3 for Caleb Asberry. A right-corner 3 from Vandy’s Terren Frank tied the game at 23 and gave the Dores their first made field goal in nearly nine minutes.

Up two with less than 10 seconds to go in the half, Pippen drove the right side of the court and fired a pass to Wright in the left corner who splashed a 3 at the buzzer. That allowed Vanderbilt to take a 32-27 lead at the break despite shooting 39 percent from the floor and getting out-rebounded by four.

Vandy came out hot in the second half and scored the first 11 points to go ahead 43-27 in just 3 1/2 minutes. Wright and Pippen combined to score eight during that stretch.

“We got four of five turnovers in a row and got some separation and we needed it because that’s a scrappy team,” Stackhouse said. “Give them credit, they won their league (the Sun Belt Conference) last year and they’ll have a good shot at winning it again this year.”

The Commodores held that double-digit lead until Drinnon sank two free throws just past the 10-minute mark that cut the score to 53-44. Mason Harrell’s 3 from the right corner a minute later suddenly made it a six-point game.

Pippen finally ended a field goal drought of 7:24 with a strong, spinning drive down the right baseline that ended with a three-point play and put Vandy up 57-49. Trey Thomas buried a 3 moments later, putting the Dores up by 10 once again at 61-51.

Texas State (1-2) didn’t have enough left in the tank after that.

Harrell paced the Bobcats with 16 points.

“We’re preparing for the SEC. It’s great to win these games, it’s part of building our resume, but it’s more than just about winning these games,” Stackhouse said. “We’ve got to get these guys reps, get them comfortable and able to be contributors for us.”

• In both games this season for Vanderbilt at least 10 Commodores have scored.

• Pippen recorded his 16th career 20-point game and fourth career 30-point game.

• Pippen is now 114 points from reaching 1,000 for his career.

• Wright has now scored in double figures in six straight regular-season games.

• Wright has started 17 straight games for Vanderbilt.

• Stute is now 7-for-13 on 3s in two games this season.

• Thomas has played 27 straight games for the Commodores.

• Vanderbilt is now 1-0 all-time against Texas State and 12-1 against programs from the Sun Belt Conference.

• Vanderbilt has now made at least four 3s in 42 straight games.

• Attendance on Sunday was announced as 5,642.

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