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NCAAB: Slumping Vanderbilt hopes recent break pays off vs. Austin Peay

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Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse hopes that a week off will energize his struggling team.

The Commodores have lost three straight, including a 69-58 decision to Loyola Chicago on Friday. They’ll host Austin Peay on Saturday afternoon.

Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 23 points in their last outing but none of his teammates reached double figures. Pippen shot 7-for-18 from the field.

“All of us get a few days to decompress and think about some things,” Stackhouse said. “Hopefully, we come back with a better plan to help him get some easier opportunities.”

Pippen is averaging 17.4 points per game. Jordan Wright (13.8 points) is the only other player averaging double figures and he’s been in a shooting slump, going 16-for-52 from the field (30.8 percent) over the last five games.

“We’ve got to find another contributor right now,” Stackhouse said. “A lot is on Scottie and when that happens, he starts to press a little bit. That’s natural. He wants to win; he wants to compete.”

Vanderbilt (5-4) also has to tighten up its perimeter defense. It allowed 17 3-point makes to Loyola, which Stackhouse attributed to superior ball movement.

“That’s what I aspire for our team to do, to move the ball like that,” he said. “Then our shots will fall a little bit better than they have so far.”

Austin Peay (4-5) has lost its last two games and will be finishing up a three-game road swing on Saturday. North Florida downed the Governors 91-84 on Saturday and South Florida topped them 60-51 on Tuesday.

Austin Peay shot just 31.4 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from behind the 3-point line in its last outing.

Rebounding has been an issue for the Governors. They’ve been defeated on the boards by an average of 32.1-26.9 this season.

Vanderbilt has won all 14 meetings with Austin Peay, most recently winning 90-72 on nov. 20, 2019.

–Field Level Media

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