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.
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.