Sophomore Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 23 of his career-high 36 points in the first half and visiting Vanderbilt led most of the way en route to a 78-64 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday in a rare late-season nonconference game.
Pippen, the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, returned from missing the previous three games due to a hip injury and delivered a stellar performance. He made 10 of 13 field-goal attempt, hit 5 of 6 from 3-point range and made 11 of 12 free throws while exceeding his previous career high of 32 points set Jan. 27 against Florida.
Jordan Wright added 15 points and 11 rebounds while D.J. Harvey chipped in 10 points for Vanderbilt (8-14). The Commodores shot 57.7 percent from the floor in the first half and 51 percent overall.
Keith Williams scored 20 points for Cincinnati (9-10), which shot 43.4 percent and committed 18 turnovers. Mika Adams-Woods added 16 and Jeremiah Davenport chipped in 15 for the Bearcats.
The game was arranged on Sunday when Cincinnati's originally scheduled game was postponed due to SMU returning to a COVID-19 pause.
Pippen's first basket gave the Commodores the lead for good at 8-7 with 15:15 remaining in the half and he scored nine points in a span of 2:27 to give Vanderbilt a 25-16 lead with 9:40 left.
After consecutive layups by Davenport cut the lead to 40-35 with three minutes to go, Pippen hit two 3-pointers and knocked down a free throw to conclude his spectacular first half and give Vanderbilt a 47-35 lead by halftime.
Pippen returned from a brief rest shortly before Davenport's dunk cut the lead to 61-54 with 8:26 remaining and exceeded the 30-point mark with a three-point play to hike the lead to 67-56 with 6:40 left.
Cincinnati made a late charge, getting within 71-64 on a three-point play by Adams-Woods with 3:57 remaining, but Pippen scored four more points to finish it off.
--Field Level Media