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Vanderbilt basketball gets offense on track in 77-63 win over Winthrop

Joe Sullivan
Special to The Tennessean

Vanderbilt’s men’s basketball team was back standing on its own feet and feeling pretty good Saturday night.

The Commodores defeated Winthrop 77-63 to leave behind the sour memory of the sickly loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday, when they had great difficulty locating the basket.   

And it wasn’t even star guard Scotty Pippen Jr. who was responsible. Instead, junior swingman Jordan Wright went for a career-high 28 points and sophomore guard Tyrin Lawrence helped out with a career-high 20.

In a scary moment in the second half, the indispensable Pippen went down with an injury. After getting some quick treatment on the bench, he was escorted to the locker room. Winthrop immediately scored five straight points to tie the game at 43 with 14:38 left and the Vandy guards looked shaky against Winthrop’s pressure and without Pippen’s ballhandling.

It was only a brief problem, however, as the Commodores reeled off 13 straight points (eight by Lawrence and 3-pointer by Wright) to put the game away. The Pippen injury was not serious and he returned to play well, scoring 13 points.

The Commodores (3-1) needed this after a dreadful 48-37 loss to VCU, when they shot 22.6% and hit only 2 of 25 3-point attempts.

Two-point shooting really improved as the Commodores hit 21 of 32 against Winthrop (2-2). Their 3-point shooting was good only if you include Wright, who hit 5 of 7. The rest of the Commodores were 3-for-20.