ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
AP photo by Mark Humphrey / Vanderbilt's Scotty Pippen Jr. (2) keeps the basketball from going out of bounds during the Commodores' win against Texas A&M in the opening game of the SEC tournament Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Scotty Pippen Jr. went 15-for-15 on free throws in a 22-point performance, and D.J. Harvey added 17 points as Vanderbilt beat Texas A&M 79-68 on Wednesday night for the Commodores' first Southeastern Conference tournament win in four years.

No. 12 seed Vanderbilt (8-15) snapped a four-game skid against the 13th-seeded Aggies, although the teams didn't play in the regular season this year after both scheduled matchups were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Second-year coach Jerry Stackhouse got his first conference tourney win and the program's first since beating Texas A&M 66-41 in 2017.

Pippen, an All-SEC first-team selection, shot just 3-of-17 from the field, but the sophomore tied his career high for foul shots made and added six assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Emanuel Miller led the Aggies (8-10) with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. His teammates were 16-of-50 from the field.

Pippen hit a 3-pointer, made a pair of free throws and then took a steal near midcourt for a dunk in a 77-second span to spark a 15-3 run that made it 17-7, and his three-point play with 16:17 to play established a 45-32 lead. Texas A&M scored the next 13 points to tie it about four minutes later, but Myles Stute answered with a 3 and Vanderbilt was on top the rest of the way.

Pippen's dad, six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen, was in attendance. Bridgestone Arena was limited to 20% capacity (3,400) due to local COVID-19 restrictions.

The Commodores, who hit 12 3-pointers and outscored the Aggies 21-7 from the foul line, face fifth-seeded Florida in Thursday's second round. The winner of that game will take on fourth-seeded Tennessee in a quarterfinal Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT