Steel-ing a Win on the Road

Commodores dominate Panthers in second half in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A balanced scoring effort and lock-down defense propelled Vanderbilt to a 68-52 victory at Pittsburgh on Wednesday at the Petersen Events Center.

Trey Thomas came off the bench to score 14 while Scotty Pippen Jr. added 11. Pippen also dished out five assists and pulled down five rebounds.

Jordan Wright chipped in nine points to go along with seven rebounds. Tyrin Lawrence also scored nine, and Quentin Millora-Brown and Myles Stute each added eight.

Vanderbilt’s defense forced 13 Pitt turnovers and held the Panthers (2-3) to a 36 percent shooting clip from the floor. John Hugley, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds coming in, was held to four rebounds and one point.

The Commodores (4-1) return home to host Mississippi Valley State (0-2) at 7 p.m. Monday.

On Wednesday, Vanderbilt got off to a slow start on the offensive end, hitting only 2 of 7 from the floor. But the Vandy defense forced three turnovers in the first 4+ minutes.

Pittsburgh began to find its stroke with 3s by Femi Okudale and Nate Santos to go up 14-9 at the 12:15 mark. The Panthers put together a 12-2 run to go up 18-9.

Pippen made Vandy’s first triple of the evening moments later to pull the Dores to within 4 at 18-14. Wright followed that up with one of his own after some crisp ball movement, drawing Vanderbilt to within 1 at 18-17.

Terran Frank gave Vanderbilt its third 3 in a row and tied the affair at 20-all with 3:46 left in the first half. Frank’s jumper from the free-throw line finally gave Vandy the lead back at 22-21.

Lawrence’s steal and layup just before the break put the visitors up three before they would settle for a 24-23 lead at the break. Vandy had that advantage despite missing 15 shots (nine of which were 3s) and turning the ball over eight times.

A little more than three minutes into the second half, a Stute 3 from the corner put the Commodores up 31-27. A Stute 3 directly after a Pippen steal followed by Pippen’s layup put Vanderbilt ahead 38-31 with 13:24 left.

Vandy’s lead wouldn’t grow larger than that and dwindled to as little as one with 9:17 to play. But the Dores exploded for a 10-2 run to build a 54-44 advantage with less than six minutes to go—a stretch that included two Thomas 3s and a thunderous, one-handed dunk from Wright.

Thomas put the nails in the proverbial coffin with back-to-back 3-pointers in a 36-second span that made it 62-46 with 3:19 left. Pittsburgh had nothing left in the tank from there.

Odukale paced Pitt with 14 points.

  • Wednesday’s win for Vanderbilt was the program’s first true road victory against a major conference opponent since Nov. 11, 2018, at Southern California.
  • Wednesday’s victory was also the first road victory for Vandy against an ACC opponent since Dec. 21, 2013, at Georgia Tech.
  • Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh are now tied at 2-2 in four all-time meetings. 
  • The Commodores are now 94-88 against programs in the current ACC.
  • Vanderbilt has forced at least 10 turnovers in every game this season.
  • Pippen is now 82 points from reaching 1,000 for his career.
  • Wright has started 20 straight games for Vanderbilt.
  • Thomas has played 30 straight games for the Commodores.
  • Vanderbilt has now made at least two 3s in 44 straight games.