Cold-shooting from the floor, especially in the first half, and missed free throws in the second half, allowed the Indians to stay in the game.
Chuck Moore and Matt Freije led Vanderbilt, each scoring 18 points. Moore made the team's last six points, all on free throws, and held the Indians's leading scorer, Derek Winans, to 11 points on a 19-point average. Brian Thornton had 11 rebounds and Scott Hundley scored 8 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in just 13 minutes of play.
Vanderbilt led throughout the first half, despite 26% field goal shooting, and the score was 28-25 at the break.
In the first ten minutes of the second half, the Commodores got their best shooting of the night and, sparked by a trio of three-pointers by Brendan Plavich, ran out to a 58-40 lead. But then the team went cold from the field, the free throwing shooting became erratic, and the Southeast players started making their shots.
Three times the Indians narrowed the margin to three points in the last minute of play, but Moore came through on some free throws and the team hung on to win.
Vanderbilt plays the Centenary Gents at 8:00 PM CST on Saturday in Memorial Gym.