Kornet's late 3-pointer helps Vanderbilt defeat Chattanooga

Dec. 17, 2016

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Luke Kornet's 3-pointers haven't been falling this season, but he hit two big ones Saturday night.

The 7-foot-1 senior buried two during the final 90 seconds, including the game-winner with 3 seconds left, in Vanderbilt's 76-74 win over Chattanooga as the Commodores rallied from a nine-point second half deficit.

Kornet entered the game with a 23 percent clip from beyond the arc on 6-of-26 shooting.

''This last week, finals week and having it off, I was able to get in the gym a lot,'' Kornet said. ''I kind of had something wrong with my off hand (wrist injury) just from the beginning of the year. Just getting those repetitions in really helped.''

Kornet and Matthew Fisher-Davis led Vanderbilt (6-5) with 18 points each as the Commodores played their first game since a nine-day break for exams.

Kornet made his winning shot seven seconds after Chattanooga's Greg Pryor missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Kornet also drained a 3 that gave the Commodores a 73-72 lead with 1:27 remaining. He hit 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Chattanooga's Tre McLean, the preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year, couldn't get off a rushed jumper in time at the buzzer.

Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew said Kornet was the first option on the last-second shot.

''He's a senior and he's worked really hard, and he hit a big shot just about a minute before that so the players really did a good job finding him,'' Drew said. ''As you dribble up, obviously there are different options, but Riley (LaChance) made a good decision and Luke made a huge shot.''

LaChance fed Kornet with a pass on the left side as time ran down in the first game against Chattanooga (8-3) since 2001.

Jeff Roberson added 11 points for Vanderbilt and LaChance had 10.

LaChance, the SEC's leading 3-point shooter (67.6 percent entering the game), buried a shot from beyond the arc to tie the game at 68 with 4:02 left.

Casey Jones led the Mocs with 16 points as their five-game win streak ended.

He scored most of his points inside against Vanderbilt's zone defense.

''I've never been a great outside shooter in my career, so that was my best option,'' Jones said. ''I just got down there and tried to penetrate against the zone, and hit what I could.''

Chattanooga's Justin Tuoyo and Greg Pryor both added 12. Pryor became the 22nd Moc of the Division I era to reach the 1,000 career points milestone with a layup for the game's first basket early in the first half.

''The two biggest things in the game were guarding the 3-point line and rebounding,'' Chattanooga coach Matt McCall said. ''They go 6 for 21 and shoot 28 percent. And we outrebounded them (33-27). And we still had a chances.''

Chattanooga fell to 26-113 against the SEC and 3-14 versus Vanderbilt.


Chattanooga: The Mocs, hoping for a return to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Indiana in the first round last season, should feel good about this one despite the loss after leading much of the second half. Chattanooga fell to 26-113 against the SEC and 3-14 versus Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores entered the game as the SEC's best 3-point shooting team and won it with a clutch 3. But they made only 6 of 21 from beyond the arc.


Chattanooga hosts Jacksonville State on Wednesday before starting Southern Conference play at Western Carolina on New Year's Eve.

Vanderbilt visits Dayton on Wednesday before beginning its Southeastern Conference schedule at LSU on Dec. 29.



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