Vanderbilt tops LSU in SEC record 3-point shootout, 96-89 (Dec 29, 2016)

Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew, left, greets LSU head coach Johnny Jones before an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Riley LaChance knocked down four 3-pointers and scored a season-high 24 points as Vanderbilt defeated LSU 96-89 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Thursday night.

The teams combined to set an SEC record with 33 treys. Vanderbilt (7-6) was 16-of-32 from deep while LSU (8-4) matched the school record with 17 made 3-pointers in 28 attempts.

”Our guys have been practicing well and playing well the last two weeks,” said coach Bryce Drew, who is in his first season as Vanderbilt coach. ”We need to shoot the ball well because that is something we are capable of doing. Riley stepped up and made big plays down the stretch.”

LaChance scored nine straight points during the last three minutes as the Commodores held off the Tigers. LaChance hit a jumper, a trey and knocked down four straight from the line after LSU pulled within six points, 85-79.

”We knew we had to go on a run at that point,” LaChance said. ”Coach Drew drew up some stuff and we executed. We made shots when we were open, but we need to be better on defense. We knew we needed to get a road win.”

Five Commodores scored in double figures, including Matthew Fisher-Davis (23 points) and Luke Kornet (14). Vanderbilt turned 15 LSU turnovers into 30 points.

The Tigers, who trailed by 20 points with nine minutes remaining in the game, were led by Antonio Blakeney with 24 points. Wayde Sims came off the bench to add 14.

”We knew the type of defense that needed to be played and we allowed them to get comfortable,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. ”In the second half, it played out the same. They got off to a good start and made it an uphill battle for us. Most nights when you score 89 points, you’re going to win the game.”

BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: The Commodores ended a three-game losing streak against LSU by shooting the ball very well. Vanderbilt shot 53 percent from the field (31-of-58), including 50 percent from distance (16-of-32), and made 75 percent from the line (18-of-24).

LSU: The Tigers lost their first home game of the season following seven victories against non-conference opponents. LSU dropped its SEC opener for the fourth time in Johnny Jones’ five seasons as coach.

ROAD TOUGH

Vanderbilt had played half of its pre-conference games away from home. The Commodores lost five of those six games, including defeats by at least 20 points to Marquette and Middle Tennessee. ”We talked about our difficult non-conference schedule,” Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said. ”Those games helped us. We had been on the road and we were used to it.”

STRUGGLING ON DEFENSE

After allowing 110 points to Wake Forest in its last game, LSU gave up 96 points to Vanderbilt. For the first time in 21 seasons, the Tigers gave up at least 90 points in regulation in back-to-back games. In 1996, LSU was beaten by Kentucky 129-97 and Auburn 95-87. The Tigers were without starting power forward Craig Victor, who was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules earlier in the day Thursday.

LONG-BALL SHOOTERS

Six Vanderbilt players were responsible for its 16 3-pointers. Both Matthew Fisher-Davis and Riley LaChance made four from behind the 3-point line. Payton Willis matched his season-high with three. Luke Kornet and Joe Toye each connected on a pair while Nolan Cressler made one. The Commodores made 19 shots from behind the arc against High Point.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt: The Commodores return to Nashville for their conference home opener against Auburn on Wednesday.

LSU: The Tigers will play their first SEC road game of the season at Missouri on Wednesday.