ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- As Mario Moore heated up for Vanderbilt, Western Michigan cooled off.
Moore led the sixth-seeded Commodores with six 3-pointers and a career-high 26 points en route to a 71-58 victory over the cold-shooting 11th-seeded Broncos in the first round of the Phoenix Region.
Western Michigan (26-5) held a 47-43 advantage after Ben Reed's basket with 13:08 remaining. The Broncos were stifled down the stretch, managing only four baskets, leading to their demise.
"Vanderbilt did a great job playing defense which didn't allow us to execute to the fullest," Broncos center Anthony Kann said.
Moore was on target throughout the contest and helped pick up the slack with star forward Matt Freije struggling. But Moore and Freije each knocked down 3-pointers and Moore added a layup to cap a 20-6 outburst that opened up a 63-53 advantage with over five minutes left.
"I was blessed to get some open shots and knock them down," Moore said. "I was happy to step up big for my team today."
Vanderbilt (22-9) also was able to limit Western Michigan star Mike Williams after halftime. Williams scored eight of his 24 points after the break as he was slowed by an assortment of defenders and foul trouble.
"I just tried my hardest to keep him in front of me and contest every shot he took," Freije said.
The Broncos shot 35 percent (22-of-63) overall, including a woeful 2-of-19 from the arc. Western Michigan was a paltry 25 percent (9-of-36) after the break.
Vanderbilt posted its first NCAA Tournament triumph since 1993 and moved into a second-round matchup with North Carolina State. Moore's 3-point shooting led to an 11-of-19 showing from the arc.
"It was like throwing a rock in water, it was great," said Moore, a 33 percent 3-point shooter. "My shots were just falling. I came out and hit two in the beginning and in the second half, I came out and hit three. I was feeling pretty good about my shot."
Moore's 10-of-16 effort overall was part of a hot shooting afternoon for Vanderbilt, which finished at 56.5 percent (26-of-46). His 3-pointer that made it a five-point game seemed to take some spirit out out of Western Michigan.
"We needed something to create some separation," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "That was the big shot, when Mario hit that shot."
Ben Reed was the only Bronco besides Williams to reach double figures with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kann, an inside force most of the year, fouled out with seven.
"They got physical with us, they bottled up our offense and we weren't able to move, get gook looks or clean screens which enabled them to go on the decisive run," Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said.