Trey Thomas scored a season-high 14 points Wednesday as Vanderbilt controlled the second half en route to a 68-52 victory at Pitt.
Thomas, a 5-11 sophomore, entered the night averaging just 2.0 points through the Commodores’ first four games. He came in 1 of 18 from the field on the season — 1 of 15 from 3-point range — but he helped rescue Vanderbilt (4-1) on a night that began quite ugly offensively.
Scotty Pippen Jr. added 11 points for the Commodores, who shot just 38.5 percent in the first half before erupting to shoot 57.7 percent in the second stanza. Tyrin Lawrence and Jordan Wright each notched nine points in a supporting role.
Femi Odukale scored 14 points to pace Pitt (2-3), while Nate Santos contributed 11 points.
Vanderbilt led 24-23 at halftime and still was clinging to a one-point lead with under 8 1/2 minutes left in the contest. That is when Wright’s 3-pointer ignited an 8-2 run that also included a 3-pointer by Thomas and a dunk by Wright.
Pitt was still within reaching distance at 54-46 with about five minutes left when the Commodores stepped on the gas to end any hopes of a comeback. Jamaine Mann’s bucket pushed the lead to double digits before Thomas made threes on consecutive possessions and then added a pair of free throws.
Quentin Millora-Brown’s two foul shots capped the 12-0 run, pushing the Vanderbilt lead to 20 for the first time.
Millora-Brown and Myles Stute each chipped in with eight points for Vanderbilt.
The first half featured a lot of missed shots, as the teams shot a combined 36.5 percent from the field and 5 of 23 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt was stuck on nine points from the 12:56 mark until 6:06 remained in the half, but Pitt also went scoreless for nearly 3 1/2 minutes during that stretch.