NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Ezra Manjon scored 16 points and made 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the final 24 seconds to help Vanderbilt hold on to beat Central Arkansas 75-71 after blowing most of a 16-point lead on Friday night.
Colin Smith scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Evan Taylor also scored 14 points and Isaiah West added 12 for Vanderbilt (3-1).
Smith made two free throws to give the Commodores the lead for good with 17:43 left in the first half. Jason Rivera-Torres hit a 3-pointer to spark a 9-2 run that made it 33-17 with his layup capping the spurt about nine minutes later.
Daniel Sofield hit two 3-pointers in a 10-2 run that cut Central Arkansas' deficit to two points with 8:52 left in the game. He added another 3 as the Bears scored 12 of 17 points to make it 70-69 when Elias Cato made a free throw with 30 seconds to go. Manjon went 2 for 2 from the foul line, Masai Olowokere scored inside for the Bears 16 seconds later and Manjon again hit two free throws before Taylor hit a free throw to cap the scoring.
Sofield, Olowokere and Javion Guy-King scored 11 points apiece for Central Arkansas (1-3) and Ubong Abasi Etim added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Vanderbilt plays N.C. State on Thursday at the Vegas Showdown. Central Arkansas plays the second of three consecutive road games on Monday at Southeast Missouri.
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