Vanderbilt found the win column after an opening-night loss, defeating South Carolina Upstate 74-67 Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Tasos Kamateros led the Commodores with 21 points, and Ezra Manjon and Paul Lewis added 16 and 10, respectively. Vanderbilt shot 45.8% from the field and 36.4% from 3-point range.
In the losing effort, USC Upstate was led by 17 points each from Trae Broadnax and Miguel Ayesa. The Spartans shot 43.6% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.
After continuing its slow start from the first half, Vanderbilt trailed 42-41 with 11:10 remaining in the second half, but the Commodores produced some separation with a few timely 3-pointers by veteran transfers Evan Taylor and Kamateros.
For the second straight game, Vanderbilt was without Tyrin Lawrence, Ven-Allen Lubin and Lee Dort. From that trio, two are likely starters.
Lawrence was withheld due to what Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse called a foot sprain, Lubin has a hip sprain and Dort was sidelined due to a foot injury suffered this offseason.
Lawrence was selected as a second team All-Southeastern Conference player in the preseason by the league’s coaches and projects to be among the Commodores’ leading scorers.
Upstate led 31-27 after an ugly first half in which Vanderbilt shot 32% from the field and 1-for-12 from 3-point range. The Spartans weren’t much better from the field, shooting 42.9%. The difference was Vanderbilt’s eight turnovers as opposed to USC Upstate’s four.
Vanderbilt’s slow start included a scoring drought of 5:02 and one of 3:52 in the first half, during which the Commodores scored only four points through the first 9:39.
It was largely the same story in the early second half until a 9-0 Vanderbilt run put the Commodores ahead 50-42, the Commodores followed that up a few minutes later with a 7-0 run led by Manjon and Kamateros.
– Field Level Media
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