Scotty Pippen Jr. went 15 for 15 from the free-throw line and finished with 22 points, D.J. Harvey scored 17 and 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 Aggies although the teams didn’t play in the regular season after both scheduled matchups were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Second-year coach Jerry Stackhouse got his first conference tourney win and the Commordores’ first since beating Texas A&M 66-41 in 2017.
Pippen, a first-team all-SEC selection, shot just 3-of-17 from the field but tied his career high for free throws made and added six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Emanuel Miller led No. 13 seed Texas A&M (8-10) with 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. The rest of the Aggies combined to make 16 of 50 from the field.
Pippen, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, 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 gave the Commodores 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 led the rest of the way.
The Commodores, who hit 12 3-pointers and outscored the Aggies 21-7 from the foul line, play fifth-seeded Florida in Thursday’s second round.
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.