Vanderbilt defeats Texas A&M to advance to Second Round of SEC Tournament
No. 12-seed Vanderbilt is moving on to the Second Round of the SEC tournament. The Commodores defeated No. 13-seed Texas A&M 79-68 on Wednesday night in Nashville.
Scotty Pippen Jr. led the VU scoring effort with 22 points. Pippen was only 3-of-17 from the field (1-of-8 from three-point territory) but went 15-of-15 at the foul line. The Commodore trio of Pippen, D.J. Harvey (17 points) and Maxwell Evans (12 points) combined for 51 points.
The Commodores were the better shooters in the first 20 minutes of play. Vanderbilt shot 48 percent from the field compared to Texas A&M’s 35 percent. Texas A&M shot just 8 percent behind the three-point line (1-of-12) while Vanderbilt made 7 of its 18 three-pointers (39 percent). Things evened out in the second half, with the final box score showing Vanderbilt shot 42 percent while Texas A&M shot 41 percent. Texas A&M’s three-point shooting also improved in the second half, with the Aggies finishing 7-of-25 behind the line.
Free throw shooting helped Vanderbilt to victory. The Commodores got to the line for 24 free throws, making 88 percent (21) while A&M was just 7-of-12 from the line.
Buzz Williams’ squad is known for producing turnovers but they were hardly a factor on Wednesday night as both teams turned the ball over 13 times. Texas A&M’s points off turnovers advantage was just 13-6.
Emanuel Miller led Texas A&M’s scoring with 22 points, going 11-of-16 from the field.
In the second half, Texas A&M went on a 13-0 run and tied things up 45-45. Jerry Stackhouse’s squad, however, was able to regain the lead and outlast the Aggies as the two teams swapped scoring runs throughout the half.
Vanderbilt will next play No. 5-seed Florida in the second game of the Second Round. The game follows Mississippi State vs. Kentucky, a battle of the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds which is set for a noon ET tip. All Second Round games air on the SEC Network.