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Vanderbilt staves off pesky Alabama A&M

Nov 24, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Jerry Stackhouse watches game action against the Fresno State Bulldogs during the first half at Anaheim Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Three players scored in double figures, including 14 from Liam Robbins, as host Vanderbilt snapped a two-game losing streak with a 70-62 victory over Alabama A&M on Thursday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.

Ezra Manjon and Jordan Wright each added 12 as the Commodores (6-6) improved to 7-0 all-time against the Bulldogs (4-8).

A valiant Alabama A&M effort was fueled by Olisa Blaise Akonobi, who came through with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Messiah Thompson led all scorers with a game-high 15 points. Garrett Hicks scored 10 for the Bulldogs, who were facing a Power 5 opponent for the second game in a row.

The game was moved up four hours due to the threat of inclement weather in Nashville.

The Commodores led the Bulldogs 34-28 at the half, connecting on seven 3-pointers, including one by Trey Thomas that put Vanderbilt ahead 34-22 with 1:28 to play. Alabama A&M closed the half on a 6-0 run to trim its deficit to six.

In a tightly contested game throughout, Tyrin Lawrence knocked down two clutch free throws to put Vanderbilt up 58-56 with 5:44 to go.

Cameron Thomas split two free throws with 4:59 remaining to cut the Vanderbilt lead to one, but the Commodores held on in a game that featured six ties and five lead changes.

A Wright 3-pointer with 44 seconds left sealed the deal for the Commodores.

Alabama A&M shot 44.8 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from 3-point range. Vanderbilt connected on 38.6 percent of its shots, including 23.5 percent from the 3-point line. However, Vandy finishes 18 of 23 from the free-throw line.

Alabama A&M, on the other hand, earned just nine trips to the foul line, making four.

The Commodores got 47 points from their bench as they improved to 4-3 at home on the season.

–Field Level Media