SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — John Jenkins scored 22 points and Jeffery Taylor had 14 to lead Vanderbilt to a 59-49 win over Nebraska in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Article continues below ...
Jenkins sparked a 16-3 run for the Commodores (2-0) on Thursday that won the game and sent them into the next round against West Virginia. The three-day tournament ends Sunday.
Jenkins kept Vanderbilt’s hopes of playing for the title alive with a tying 3-pointer, then a jumper for a 48-46 lead with 5:45 left. Steve Tchiengang hit a 3-pointer for a 54-48 lead and the Commodores put the game away from there.
Brandon Ubel led Nebraska (2-1) with 10 points. The Huskers shot 6 for 21 from the field in the second half, after going shot-for-shot with the Commodores most of the way.
Ubel hit a jumper with 7:49 left for a 44-41 lead — and that was it for Nebraska. The Huskers didn’t score another field goal and made only five free throws. One game after Davidson went 2 for 22 from 3-point range, Nebraska went 0 for 10. The Huskers also missed 10 of their 23 free-throw attempts, which won’t win them many games this year in the Big 12.
That was fine with Vanderbilt.
Jenkins, who set a school freshman record with 72 3s last season, only went 1 for 5 in this one. But his lone 3 was a big one, totally swinging the momentum toward the Commodores. Jenkins was a sharp 7 of 8 shooting on 2-pointers.
Christian Standhardinger’s three-point play early in the second half put the Huskers up 42-39. Soon after, Nebraska coach Doc Sadler told his team during a timeout to stop Vanderbilt’s second-chance shots: “There is no such thing as a second opportunity now!”
The Huskers did win the battle of the boards, 37-34, but there was little opportunity with Jenkins finding his shot.
Vanderbilt went 5 for 17 from 3-point range and has now made a 3 in 764 straight games. Vanderbilt, UNLV and Princeton are the only schools to make a 3 in every game since the line was implemented in the 1986-87 season.
Taylor hit two 3s in a tight first half. Drake Beranek scored right before the buzzer to give Nebraska a 28-26 lead at halftime.
Jorge Brian Diaz scored eight points in 28 minutes for Nebraska. He’s the only player from Puerto Rico in the eight-team field.