Vanderbilt aims to get back on track vs. Winthrop

NCAA Basketball

Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse knows that while one bad game is an aberration, two consecutive bad performances is a trend.

After an ugly showing their last time out, the Commodores hope to compile a much better effort Saturday when they welcome Winthrop to Nashville, Tenn.

Vanderbilt (2-1) won each of its first two games by 19 points before laying an egg offensively in Wednesday’s 48-37 defeat to VCU. They shot just 22.6 percent from the field, missed 23 of their 25 3-point attempts, and failed to reach 40 points in a game for the first time since 2014.

“This is one that you don’t want to stew over too long,” Stackhouse said. “It’s just one of those nights. It’s an aberration. We don’t feel like we’ll shoot the ball this poorly again. If every shot we took tonight (had been) a contested shot and we didn’t feel like we got the looks that we wanted, then we got some bigger issues.

“Basketball is a game — you can play all the great defense you want to, but you’ve got to score, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Jordan Wright led the Commodores with 15 points and is averaging 15.7 points on the season. Scotty Pippen Jr., who averaged 22.5 points in Vanderbilt’s first two games, was held to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Winthrop (2-1) also is coming off its first defeat of the season. The Eagles committed 17 turnovers, got outscored 20-6 in fast-break points and made only 10-of-19 foul shots in a 76-65 loss to Middle Tennessee on Tuesday.

That was the opener of a tough four-game road trip for Winthrop in which the team also will make stops at Washington State and Washington.

“I expect us to win games,” Eagles guard Russell Jones Jr. said after Saturday’s overtime win at Mercer.

Winthrop boasts three double-digit scorers on the season in D.J. Burns Jr. (20.0 points), Cory Hightower (13.3) and Patrick Good (10.7). Good (7-of-16), Hightower (7-of-13) and Jones (5-of-9) are among the Eagles shooting well from 3-point range on the young season.

–Field Level Media

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