The second-highest scoring duo in the nation leads Vanderbilt into action Tuesday when it hosts Buffalo. Aaron Nesmith and Saben Lee combine to put up 40 points per game for the Commodores, who try to rebound from an off-shooting night and their first home loss when the Bulls of the Mid-American Conference come to town.
Nesmith does the heavy lifting for Vanderbilt by averaging 23.7 points, which was fifth-best nationally entering Monday and most by an SEC player by more than three points per game. The sophomore, who has six 20-point games and one 30-point game this season, was tops in Division I with 4.86 made 3-pointers game and ninth in 3-point shooting (54 percent). Lee, the only underclassman from the SEC to have more than 400 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists last season, was eighth in scoring (16.3) and third in assists (6.6) in the conference. The duo of Jayvon Graves and Davonta Jordan (combined 31.1 points per game) have led the Bulls, who will play their first true road game against Vanderbilt, to three straight victories.
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ABOUT BUFFALO (5-2): After four straight games away from home at the Naismith Classic and Charleston Classic, the Bulls punctuated the Thanksgiving break with an 88-77 victory over William & Mary. The defense that was a trademark under former coach Nate Oats and has been there in spurts under new coach Jim Whitesell, wasn't present aside from forcing 18 turnovers as the visitors had success shooting the ball - something that could be a problem against the Commodores, who make 48.9 percent, the 35th best rate in Division I. Jordan led the way with seven steals, but the senior also had six turnovers and Graves had 24 points.
ABOUT VANDERBILT (5-2): The Commodores had no answer for a matchup zone as they shot 36 percent - 15 points below their average - in losing to Tulsa 67-58 on Saturday. Nesmith got his points, finishing with 26, but needed 20 shot attempts to get them while freshman Scotty Pippen, Jr. ran his streak of games in double figures to four. "They did some things to make us have some indecision in our playmaking," coach Jerry Stackhouse told the media. "They threw a few wrinkles at us. They got a lot of points off turnovers. We've got to make sure we're taking care of the ball a little better."
1. The Commodores are 807-236 in Memorial Gym, which is the SEC's oldest facility.
2. Vanderbilt, Princeton and UNLV are the only teams to make a 3-pointer in every game since the 3-point line was introduced for the 1986-87 season.
3. The only duo ahead of Nesmith and Lee are Hampton's Jermaine Marrow and Ben Stanley (42.5 points per game).
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