Brad Tinsley’s jumper with 4.5 seconds left lifted No. 18 Vanderbilt to a 64-62 victory over Oregon State on Monday night in the championship game of the Legends Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.
Despite 23 turnovers, the Commodores (4-1) hung on against the Beavers (4-1), who erased a nine-point, second half deficit. Ahmad Starks tied the game with 37 seconds remaining, but Tinsley, an Oregon native, countered with the game-winning shot.
Jared Cunningham’s attempt as time expired, heavily defended by Jeffery Taylor, was off the mark.
John Jenkins scored a team-high 14 points and was named the tournament MVP. Taylor added 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, and was named to the all-tournament team.
It was a tight contest for the first 30 minutes, and the score was 31-31 at halftime. The Commodores used a 10-1 run early in the second half to separate themselves. Lance Goulbourne, who grew up in Brooklyn and had a large gathering of family and friends in attendance, scored the last four points of the spurt for a 41-32 lead with 17:01 to go.
Oregon State stuck around but it appeared that Vanderbilt would pull away when a Jenkins 3-pointer made it 57-51 with 6:55 remaining. The Ducks, who had 16 steals, stayed calm. After a timeout they scored nine of the next 12 points. Joe Burton tied the game at 60 with a jumper at the 2:17 mark, setting up a frantic final two minutes.
Tinsley, Goulbourne and Steve Tchiengang each scored nine points and Vanderbilt shot 48.1 percent from the field. Goulbourne also added nine rebounds but committed seven turnovers.
It was the third straight win for Vanderbilt, which hasn’t lost since a stunning 71-58 setback to Cleveland State eight days ago.
The Commodores return home to Memorial Gymnasium for a 9 p.m. tipoff on Friday against Monmouth (0-4). The Hawks are coached by King Rice, who spent the last five years as an assistant at Vanderbilt.