Lipscomb did not make it easy, but Vanderbilt got their first win over a Division I opponent on Thursday night. The Bisons cut a 15-point halftime lead down to three in the second half, but Vandy recovered to notch a 72-62 victory.
Lipscomb had few answers when it came to stopping Damian Jones in the paint. The sophomore center led all scorers with 21 points. Luke Kornet added 11 of his own to help the Commodores improve to 2-0 on the year.
Vanderbilt punctuated periods of sluggish scoring with offensive bursts that gave the 'Dores a 40-25 lead at the half. Jones used his size to create space to score in the paint (11 points), and Luke Kornet snuck out to the perimeter to nail three straight three-pointers to squelch any Bisons hope of heading to the locker room with the advantage. Vandy's size and athleticism led them to big rebounding and turnover margins that led to plenty of extra scoring opportunities early on.
That story changed in the second half. Lipscomb came back strong after the break, using a 5-5 shooting streak to pull within six points and force a Commodore timeout that failed to stop the bleeding. A combination of open twos and accurate threes capitalized on Vandy's inability to score against the Bisons' zone defense to cut the home team's lead to 52-49 with 10 minutes to play.
Jeff Roberson's three-pointer kicked off a 15-4 run that effectively closed the door on Lipscomb's upset bid. Roberson led the team with eight rebounds, but the most impressive showing from a freshman may have come from Wade Baldwin IV. Baldwin came off the bench to chip in 11 points (on six shots), seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Riley LaChance (nine points, six assists) and Matthew Fisher-Davis (six points) also had solid games.
Vanderbilt is now 2-0 on the season, though tonight's win is their only victory against a Division I opponent. They'll return to the court when they host Tennessee State on Sunday. Lipscomb fell to 1-2 in the loss.