John Jenkins scored eight of Vanderbilt’s final 13 nine points and led all scorers with 28 as the 18th-ranked Commodores defeated North Carolina State 86-79 Saturday at East Rutherford, N.J.
Jenkins’ jump shot with 3:11 to go put Vanderbilt on top 76-75 and Jeffery Taylor’s tip-in with 2:17 remaining put the Commodores ahead to stay 78-77. The contest, part of the championship rounds of the Legends Classic, had eight led changes — all in the second half.
Jenkins, Lance Goulbourne and Brad Tinsley combined for five free throws in the final 38 seconds as the Commodores built a nine-point advantage, the largest of the contest, before N.C. State ended the scoring on a layup with six second to go.
Taylor added 17 points and nine rebounds for Vanderbilt (3-1), which shot 49.1 percent from the field and had four players in double figures. Goulbourne had 15 and Tinsley had 14.
N.C. State (3-1) got a team-high 20 points from forward C.J. Leslie.
Jenkins scored 18 points in the first half, which ended with the Commodores on top 49-45. He made three 3-pointers, the last after N.C. State had tied it 43-43 with just over two minutes to go.
More than half of Vanderbilt’s 32 shots in the opening 20 minutes were 3-point attempts. The Commodores’ first two baskets were 3-pointers, one each by Tinsley and Taylor, and Tinsley capped the half with another five seconds before intermission.