The Lions battled back using a physical man-to-man defense to create turnovers from Vanderbilt. A layup by Dee Gadsden with 8 seconds remaining knotted the score at 30-30 with a half still to be played.
Vanderbilt opened the second half with a 11-0 that gave Vanderbilt a 41-30 lead with 16:55 remaining. Vanderbilt's lead grew to 14 with 12:33 remaining when freshman guard Mario Moore made a 3-point shot. Moore went on to score 5 points in his first college game.
Vanderbilt extended their lead to 21 at 63-42 when freshman Adam Payton scored a layup with 9:55 remaining in the game.
Southeastern Louisiana, who were led in scoring by Amir Abdur-Rahim with 13, cut the Vanderbilt lead to 15 with 3:48 remaining in the game when Abdur-Rahim scored a pair of free throws. Vanderbilt, who had emptied the bench of reserves, then returned their starting lineup to the game.
The Commodores led by as many as 23 late in the second half. Southeastern Louisiana led briefly at 3-2 very early in the game.
Vanderbilt is now 1-0 on the early 2002-03 season. Sunday night at 7 pm Vanderbilt hosts Alabama A&M. Southeastern Louisiana falls to 0-1. The Lions host Troy State on Monday.