NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt began the night with the lowest 3-point field goal percentage in the Southeastern Conference.
It sure hasn’t looked that way lately.
The Commodores set a season high for 3-pointers for the second straight game by going 17 for 35 from beyond the arc in a 92-51 rout of Alcorn State on Friday night.
The Commodores (5-7) made 12 shots from 3-point range in Wednesday’s win over Houston Baptist.
“If only we would shoot like that every night, you’d feel a lot better as a coach,” Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said. “I thought it was our best game of the year with our execution and our efficiency. You know, taking care of the basketball.”
Drew used a small lineup with more shooters that he can’t always use in the SEC.
“Obviously, it’s not ideal,” Drew said. “We’re going to face a lot of big bodies and we’re going to have to play big and small.”
Getting the ball in transition, creating open looks with steals and the confidence of playing at home has helped the Commodores’ 3-point shooting in the past two games.
Jeff Roberson scored 21 points including five 3-pointers in Vanderbilt’s final tune-up before SEC play.
Roberson became the third Vanderbilt senior to surpass 1,000 career points, joining Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis. The F-Troop of Butch Feher, Joe Ford and Jeff Fosnes (1976) is the only other Commodore class to accomplish that feat.
Roberson became the 48th Commodore to reach the milestone on a layup with 2:58 left in the first half.
“I knew about it, my mom told me about it,” Roberson said. “My mom knows the game very well and she’s my biggest supporter, so it’s no surprise.”
Vanderbilt finished two short of tying the school record of 19 3-pointers set in a win over High Point last season.
LaChance added 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Fisher-Davis, who made three 3-pointers, scored 15. Freshman Saben Lee added 10.
Vanderbilt set the tone early by taking a 12-0 lead, including 3-pointers on the game’s first three baskets. The Commodores were up 52-24 by halftime and pulled away from there.
A.J. Mosby led Alcorn State (4-9) with 11 points and Troymain Crosby added 10, but the Braves fell to 0-8 on the road.
“You tell (your players) that they’re bound to miss them,” Braves coach Montez Robinson said of Vanderbilt’s 3-point shooting. “You’re trying to play statistics and you’re hoping that this is not the game they are going to turn out and shoot it the way they shot it on us. And they did.”
Alcorn State: Mosby and Crosby were the only Braves in double figures as Alcorn State shot 33 percent from the field. Alcorn State got outscored 27-9 in points off turnovers.
“We got a little loosey-goosey with the ball, which is normally out of our character,” Robinson said.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores sizzled from 3-point range and dominated from the opening tip-off. Vanderbilt made 12 steals and Alcorn State had just one. Vanderbilt shared the ball well with 23 assists, posting a season high in points.
Alcorn State lost senior Reginal Johnson, the Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason player of the year, to a broken leg in a loss at Tulane on Nov. 29. The 6-foot-5 forward is expected to miss the rest of the season after leading the Braves in scoring last year with 15.6 points per game off the bench.
“We’ve been snake-bitten with this injury bug,” Robinson said. “We’ve got four or five guys that would be in the rotation that are out.”
I REMEMBER THEM
Alcorn State is a familiar college to football fans in Nashville because it produced former Titans quarterback Steve McNair.
Alcorn State visits Prairie View A&M in its Southwestern Athletic Conference opener on Jan. 1.
Vanderbilt visits Florida for its Southeastern Conference opener on Dec. 30. The four teams that beat Florida boast a combined winning percentage of .894.