Vanderbilt ends 2018 with win over UNC Asheville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Notre Dame transfer Matt Ryan scored a season high with 19 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Vanderbilt to a 90-59 win over UNC Asheville on Monday.

Simi Shittu, projected to go in the first round of June’s NBA Draft, scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Commodores, who reached the 90-point mark for the fourth time this season.

Yanni Wetzell, a St. Mary’s (Texas) transfer from New Zealand who made his second straight start, added a season-high 16 points.

The 6-foot-10 junior was nearly perfect, shooting 5 of 6 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the foul line in front of 8,350 at Memorial Gym.

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Four Commodores scored in double figures, including point guard Saben Lee with 11 points.

Vanderbilt (9-3) closed 2018 with its second win in three days.

The Commodores shot 56 percent from the floor, hitting 27 of 48.

Redshirt freshman L.J. Thorpe led UNC Asheville (2-12) with a career-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers.

Freshman Devon Baker added 13 point for the Bulldogs, who were outrebounded 41-20.

The Commodores outscored the Bulldogs 24-10 in the paint during the first 20 minutes to take a 40-34 halftime lead.

BIG PICTURE

UNC Asheville: The Bulldogs lost 12 of 14 non-conference games under first-year coach Mike Morrell and fell to 0-5 against Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores finished strong in the second half, getting strong efforts from Shittu, Wetzell and Ryan.

UP NEXT

UNC Asheville: Hosts Winthrop (8-4) on Saturday in a Big South Conference opener.

Vanderbilt: Hosts Ole Miss (10-2) on Saturday in a Southeastern Conference opener.

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