Vanderbilt MBB defeats Iowa State, 84-78

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Luke Kornet scored 21 points, and Vanderbilt stopped a skid by holding off Iowa State 84-78 Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

It didn’t look good in the first half as Iowa State (13-7) jumped out to an 11-point lead.

The Commodores (10-11) tied it at 33 going into halftime, and then they controlled the second half leading by as much as 15 in pulling out a much-needed win.

Nolan Cressler added 20 points, Jeff Roberson had 16 and Matthew Fisher-Davis 14 before fouling out.

Monte Morris led Iowa State with 25 points before fouling out. Donovan Jackson added 16 points off the bench, Matt Thomas had 14 and Deonte Burton 13. Nazareth Mitrou-Long, who came in averaging 15.9 points per game, had only four.

The timing for this game didn’t seem good for Vanderbilt, having lost its first three games in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

This was the eighth game between these teams but the first since 1985. Iowa State won that game with Jeff Hornacek playing for the Cyclones in December 1985 for a 4-3 edge in the series.

But Fisher-Davis opened the second half with a dunk to start a 9-2 spurt by Vanderbilt to take the lead for good. Morris scored to pull Iowa State within 44-40 when the Commodores responded with an 11-2 run capped by back-to-back 3s from Fisher-Davis, the second with 12:41 left.

Jackson hit two free throws for Iowa State, then Jeff Roberson made another 3 to give Vandy its biggest lead at 58-44 with 11:05 to go. The Commodores finished off the win by hitting 7 of 10 at the free throw line in the final minute.


Iowa State: The Cyclones now are 2-2 in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. They just couldn’t slow down Vanderbilt, which went 21 of 26 at the free throw line (80.8 percent) and was 13 of 30 outside the arc (48.1 percent).

Vanderbilt: The Commodores desperately needed this performance against a team that came in with a 40 RPI. They jumped out to a big lead for a second straight game in the second half only to have Fisher-Davis go to the bench with four fouls with 6:47 left. Unlike against Arkansas, they kept going inside to protect their lead.


Iowa State: Hosts West Virginia on Tuesday night.

Vanderbilt: Next up for Vanderbilt is a road trip to College Station, Texas to take on Texas A&M on Jan. 31 at 8:00 p.m. (CT). The game will be broadcasted on ESPNU.