NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Saben Lee scored 14 points to lead five players in double figures and sharp-shooting Vanderbilt beat No. 18 Arizona State 81-65 on Monday night.
Vanderbilt snapped an eight-game skid against ranked opponents that dated to an overtime win over Florida in the 2017 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Commodores (7-2) also beat Arizona State for the first time in five tries on the Sun Devils’ first visit to Memorial Gym.
The Commodores had a big night from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of 12 from deep in the first half and 12 of 28 for the game.
Aaron Nesmith added 13 points off the bench for Vanderbilt. Yanni Wetzell had 12, and Matt Ryan and Joe Toye had 11 each.
Arizona State, which moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 earlier Monday, has lost two of three.
Rob Edwards led Arizona State with 14 points. Luguentz Dort came in as the fourth-highest freshman scorer in the nation averaging 20.9 points, but he had just 10 points. Zylan Cheatham had 14 rebounds.
This was the first game after the Commodores’ 12-day break for finals and is the second part of a home-and-home deal with Arizona State. The Sun Devils won 76-64 in Tempe last season.
Arizona State opened by scoring the first nine points as Vanderbilt missed its first six shots. After that, the Commodores finished the first half outscoring the Sun Devils 34-19, including an 18-3 run over the final 6:49.
Vanderbilt pushed that to 37-28 when Ryan hit a 3 to open the second half. Dort scored five straight points to pull Arizona State within 37-34, but that was as close as the Sun Devils got until Edwards and Kimani Lawrence hit back-to-back 3s with 3:53 left to pull within 62-59.
Simisola Shittu answered with a layup, and Toye knocked down a 3 as Vanderbilt pushed the lead back to double digits.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils finish 2-1 in nonconference play against the SEC. They beat Mississippi State in November in Las Vegas and edged Georgia last weekend before coming to Nashville. … The Sun Devils came in ninth nationally with a rebound margin of 11.6, yet they outrebounded Vandy only 42-39.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores are part of a rare trio with UNLV and Princeton as the only programs to make a 3-pointer in every game since the 3-point line debuted for the 1986-87 season. After Vanderbilt missed its first seven shots, Nesmith hit a 3 to make it 1,040 straight games with a 3-pointer.
Arizona State: Hosts top-ranked Kansas on Saturday.
Vanderbilt: Visits Kansas State on Saturday.
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