SMU rallies, runs away from Vandy in second half

Kendric Davis scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half as SMU rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat visiting Vanderbilt, 84-72 in a nonconference game Saturday night in Dallas.

Davis had five assists, Zach Nutall scored 20 points and Emmanuel Bandoumel added 11 points for the Mustangs (7-3), who are 7-0 at home this season.

Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 16 of his 29 points in the first half for the Commodores (5-2), who also received 14 points and 12 rebounds from Jordan Wright.

The momentum changed almost immediately when the second half began.

Quentin Millora-Brown missed a dunk attempt for Vanderbilt, and although SMU didn’t score on its first possession of the half, the Mustangs did on their second one when Bandoumel stole the ball from Wright and turned the theft into a layup.

Bandoumel’s basket began an 11-0 run that was finished by Nutall’s driving layup, cutting the Commodores’ lead to 40-39 with only 2:52 elapsed in the second half.

Pippen answered with a trey to increase the lead to four and the teams traded baskets briefly, but SMU pulled ahead to stay, 49-47 on Davis’ 3-pointer with 14:19 left. That basket started a 10-0 run, which Nutall finished with a basket on a second-chance opportunity with 12:35 left, putting the Mustangs in front, 56-47.

SMU extended its lead to 67-53 on Michael Weathers’ 3-pointer with 7:53 to go. The Commodores tried to chip away at their deficit but couldn’t get closer than nine after that.

SMU led 27-26 on Davis’ layup with 4:50 left in the half but failed to make a field goal for the rest of the first half. During that span, the Commodores went on a 14-1 run to take a 40-28 lead at intermission.

Pippen had five of his 16 first-half points during the spurt, including a 3-pointer with 19 seconds to go to close the first-half scoring. Millora-Brown contributed four points to the run.