NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Without its top two scorers Wednesday, Vanderbilt gave visiting No. 25 Tennessee all it could handle inside Memorial Gymnasium before falling short 70-58.
Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse confirmed after the game that Disu is scheduled to have knee surgery Friday and his 2020-21 season has ended,
Still, without its one-two punch Wednesday, Vandy had a chance to pull out the win as it trailed by just four with 4 1/2 minutes to go and just six with 2:08 left. Tennessee then used its depth down the stretch to pull away for the final margin.
Trey Thomas led four Commodores in double figures with 14 while Maxwell Evans had 13, Issac McBride had a career-high 11 and Jordan Wright scored 10. Vanderbilt made 13 3-pointers, eight 2s and three free throws while it was held to six attempts from the line.
Vandy (6-13, 2-11 SEC) now turns its attention for a 2:30 p.m. Saturday game against Ole Miss (13-9, 8-7 SEC).
Vanderbilt recovered from a slow start Wednesday to make three of its first six shots and go up 9-7 on a McBride 3. Tennessee responded with a 10-0 run before Thomas plugged the bleeding with back-to-back 3s cutting the Volunteer lead to 17-15.
Those shots sparked what turned out to be an 11-0 run for the Commodores that also included another Thomas 3 and an Ejike Obinna putback dunk. The Volunteers went nearly six minutes without scoring during the stretch.
Tennessee fought back to the tune of eight points in a row forcing a Vanderbilt timeout. Jaden Springer’s up-and-under layup gave the Volunteers a 25-20 advantage with 3:15 to go in the half.
Vanderbilt would find itself down 32-22 at the break after just one made field goal over the final 6:44 of the half. The Dores shot 28.6 percent from the field and were outscored 16-6 in the paint.
The second half started with a 7-0 run from Tennessee. Vandy took nearly four minutes to score – an Evans 3 cut the Dores’ deficit to 39-25 at that point.
Wright’s 3-ball with 13:21 to go got Vandy within 43-34 and a McBride layup four minutes later cut the score to 54-47. The Dores kept right on coming and were within 56-50 on another Thomas 3 and 56-52 on a monstrous Evans dunk at the 4:28 mark.
That set up the final four minutes of play that started with the momentum on Vanderbilt’s side and ended with Tennessee’s eighth win in a row over its cross-state rival.
Victor Bailey scored 21 to lead Tennessee (15-6, 8-6 SEC) while Springer added 20.
• Pippen had been the only Commodore to have started all 18 games for Vandy this season and had started 32 straight games for Vanderbilt.
• Vanderbilt has now made at least four 3s in 34 consecutive games.
• The Commodores are now 75-126 all-time against Tennessee and is 54-44 at home in the series.
• Vandy is 12-19 all-time against Tennessee when the Volunteers have been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. The program’s last win in such an instance was Jan. 27, 2010.
• Eight of Vanderbilt’s 11 SEC losses this season have been by a combined 42 points.
• In the last six contests, Evans is 16-for-32 from 3.