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Vanderbilt 80, Belmont 66: Commodore Defense Smothers Bruins

Now that’s more like what we were expecting from Bryce Drew’s team.

NCAA Basketball: Belmont at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Vanderbilt Commodores rebounded from a poor first outing by beating the Belmont Bruins by a score of 80-66 on Tuesday night.

Luke Kornet led the Commodores with 20 points, and also added 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kornet did most of his damage at the foul line, shooting 12-of-16, and Vanderbilt shot 25-of-31 as a team at the charity stripe.

Three other Commodores scored in double figures; Matthew Fisher-Davis had 16, while Jeff Roberson and Payton Willis — in his second college game — had 10 apiece. Willis had the dagger with a clutch three-pointer late in the second half.

But perhaps the biggest story of the night was a defensive effort that held the Bruins to 24-of-68 shooting, including a woeful 9-of-41 on three-pointers. Belmont went on a run midway through the second half to make things uncomfortable for a few minutes, but Vanderbilt pulled away late for their first win of the season.

The Commodores improved to 1-1 on the season and will be back in action on Friday night when Norfolk State comes to Memorial Gym.