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Vanderbilt survives Radford, 59-50

Scotty PIppen Jr. scored 25 points for the third time in four games.

NCAA Basketball: Richmond at Vanderbilt Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

At some point this season, the Vanderbilt Commodores are going to have to figure out how to start well.

For the third game in a row, Vanderbilt was sluggish out of the gate, this time with head coach Jerry Stackhouse away from the team and assistant Adam Mazarei serving as acting head coach for the night. Early on, the Commodores couldn’t get much to fall against a tricky Radford defense, falling behind 17-10 at the 11:55 mark. Scotty Pippen Jr. and Dylan Disu would carry Vanderbilt down the stretch in the first half, though, and the Commodores went into the break with a 26-25 lead in spite of shooting just 34 percent from the floor.

Vanderbilt then opened up some breathing room with a 9-0 run to open the second half, with Pippen scoring seven of the nine. But the Commodores failed to build on the lead, and after Issac McBride drained a three with 10:30 left to put his team ahead 47-35, Vanderbilt would go exactly five minutes before scoring again on a Quentin Millora-Brown free throw. The good news, though, was that Radford was only able to capitalize to the tune of nine points, and a pretty fast break bucket by Tyrin Lawrence quickly extended the Vanderbilt lead to six at 50-44. Pippen would put the game away on a three-pointer with 1:21 left to put Vanderbilt ahead 55-48.

The final was 59-50, with Pippen providing 25 of those points to go along with six assists. Dylan Disu finished with 12 points, though he scored just two in the second half. Vanderbilt will be back in action at Davidson on Tuesday.