Ezra Manjon propels Vandy to victory over UNC Greensboro

Ezra Manjon scored 24 points and Colin Smith added 13 points and 11 rebounds as Vanderbilt knocked off UNC Greensboro 74-70 on Thursday in Nashville.

Evan Taylor added 12 points for the Commodores (2-1).

The Spartans (1-1) committed just five turnovers and got 26 points from Keyshaun Langley and 24 from Mikeal Brown-Jones.

UNC Greensboro cut what had been an 18-point Vanderbilt lead to two twice in the final three minutes.

Brown-Jones’s 3-pointer from the middle cut the lead to 70-67 with 22 seconds left, and Langley sank a trey with eight seconds left to cut the gap to two.

Manjon — who canned all 12 of his foul shots — hit two free throws with six seconds left for the game’s final points.

Vanderbilt led 51-33 on Manjon’s jumper with 16:04 left. Keyshawn Langley hit a 3-pointer that started a 16-5 run that ended with 7:43 left when Manjon canned a pair of foul shots.

Brown-Jones hit a layup and then added a 3-pointer with 4:23 left, bringing the Spartans within 60-56, the closest they’d been in the second half to that point.

Kobe Langley was initially awarded a layup on a JaQualon Roberts goaltending call with 2:09 left that appeared to cut the lead to 64-62.

However, the call was reversed after a replay review, the Spartans failed to score on the possession and Manjon hit four foul shots over the next 59 seconds to bring the lead back to eight.

The Commodores held a 41-29 lead at halftime.

Smith hit three 3-pointers in the first 4:26, helping Vanderbilt establish a 14-6 lead.

Vanderbilt took the first double-digit lead for either team (31-19) when Manjon canned a 3-pointer with 5:49 left before halftime. He added a driving layup with 3:49 to go, making it a 16-point lead.

Brown-Jones picked up his second foul with 6:59 left in the first half and sat the rest of the period.

Vanderbilt played without preseason second-team All-Southeastern Conference guard Tyrin Lawrence, starting forward Ven-Allen Lubin and reserve center Lee Dort, all of whom are hurt and haven’t played this season.