This was Fresno State's fifth straight game against a Top 125 KenPom team.
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Despite holding a one-point lead with under four minutes to play, the Fresno State men's basketball team was unable to hold onto the lead falling to Vanderbilt 67-59 in the third-place game of the 2022 Paycom Wooden Legacy on Thursday night at Anaheim Arena.
Fresno State (1-5) was led in scoring by veteran guard Jemarl Baker, who finished with a season-high 22 points and matched his career high with seven assists while adding three rebounds. This was his third career game with at least 20 points.
Isaih Moore and Eduardo Andre both posted double-doubles as the pair each scored 10 points and corralled 12 rebounds apiece against the SEC's Commodores.
How It Happened
The 'Dogs got out to an early 6-4 lead after a layup from Baker, but Vanderbilt was able to climb back into the lead at 12-10 after a three-pointer by Tyrin Lawrence.
Coming out of the media timeout on fire, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run - getting field goals from Donavan Yap, Jordan Campbell, Andre & Moore to take an 18-12 lead.
With the Commodores cutting the 'Dogs lead down to three at 19-16, a layup from Andre and a pair of free throws by Baker extended the Bulldogs lead to seven at 23-16. Vanderbilt answered back closing out the half on a 15-3 run over the final 5:04, including scoring the final eight points of the half, to take a 31-26 lead to halftime.
Vanderbilt got the second half started on a 13-7 run to take a 44-33 lead before the 'Dogs started chipping away at the deficit. Using a 10-0 run, the Bulldogs turned a seven-point deficit into a 49-46 lead, capped by a layup from Moore, with 8:54 to play in the second half.
With a pair of free throws from Baker helping the 'Dogs maintain a three-point lead at 51-48, the Commodores went on an 8-2 run to take a 56-53 lead with 6:35 to play.
The Bulldogs responded with a layup and pair of free throws from Andre for their final lead of the contest at 57-56 as Vanderbilt closed the game on an 11-2 run down the stretch for the eight-point win.
Fresno State, who won the 2021 Venue Twin Southern California Challenge Surf Division, returned to Southern California during Feast Week for a multi-team event for the second straight season and third time in the last five years.
This was Fresno State's second appearance in the Wooden Legacy -- an ESPN Event -- and first since 2018, when the 'Dogs beat Northwestern on Thanksgiving Day and finished third in an eight-team bracket.
This was the fifth game in a six-game stretch of the Bulldogs exclusively playing KenPom Top 125 teams, who also all finished in the NET Top 150 at the end of last season.
This was the first-ever meeting between Fresno State and Vanderbilt.
Fresno State has limited 18 straight opponents in regular season games, including every game this season, to fewer than 70 points.
Fresno State has limited 10 straight nonconference opponents in regular season games, including every game this season, to fewer than 70 points.
Fresno State has limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points in 36 of its last 42 games, including every game this season.
Baker notched his third career 20-point game joining a pair of games from his time at Arizona ('19-20, '20-21).
This was the first time two Bulldogs had 12 rebounds in the same game since an 82-77 win over New Mexico on Feb. 1, 2020.
The 'Dogs return to action on Dec. 3 at UC Irvine at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.