Nicholls State vs Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt 80, Nicholls 65


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kedren Johnson scored a career-high 25 points to lead Vanderbilt to an 80-65 victory over Nicholls State on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Johnson scored 15 points in the second half as Vanderbilt pulled away after leading by just six at halftime. After the break, the Commodores shot 66.7 percent and made eight 3-pointers.

A 36-14 run over a 13-minute span turned a four-point deficit into a blowout.

After ending the first half on a 15-5 spurt, the Commodores stayed hot. They made eight straight baskets, including five 3-pointers, to open the second half. Kevin Bright's 3-pointer in the corner put Vanderbilt up 49-31 with 15:35 left.

Bright scored 13 of his career-high 15 points after halftime. Kyle Fuller also finished with a career-high 15 points.

Fred Hunter finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Colonels. Sam McBeath added 15 and T.J. Carpenter had 11.

Hunter, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, scored Nicholls State's first 11 points. Behind Hunter's presence inside, the Colonels took a 17-13 lead at the 8:51 mark.

But Vanderbilt responded to regain the lead before halftime. Johnson sunk two 3-pointers and Sheldon Jeter drained another to spark the 15-5 run. The Commodores went into the break with a 28-22 lead on Fuller's jumper with 1 second left.

Fuller started the final half with another basket, this time hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

His teammates followed his lead as Vanderbilt couldn't miss during the opening four-minute stretch. Five players contributed to 21 straight points.

All eight players scored for the Commodores, who improved to 13-1 in season openers under coach Kevin Stallings. The lone loss came in 2006 against Georgetown.

Last year, Vanderbilt won 25 games and the Southeastern Conference tournament title en route to reaching the NCAA tournament for an unprecedented third straight year.

However, the Commodores lost their top six scorers to graduation or the NBA Draft and do not have a senior this season. Johnson, a sophomore point guard, returned as the leading scorer after averaging just 3.1 points.

He paced Vanderbilt against Nicholls State, making 8 of 14 field goals and dishing out six assists. He also accounted for three of the Commodores' 12 3-pointers.

Continuing their brilliance beyond the arc, they made a 3-pointer for the 833rd straight game. Vanderbilt, Princeton and UNLV are the only schools with a 3-pointer in every game since the inception of the arc in 1986.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Nicholls State Colonels
S. McBeath, F295-164-543115
L. Prest, F262-60-00226
T. Carpenter, G284-72-332311
F. Hunter, G289-142-3102121
S. Rillieux, G273-70-02127
P. Maciel190-10-03010
J. Smith141-40-02042
S. Bailey111-10-00013
T. Julien100-10-01020
L. Smith-Hyde80-10-00110
Totals 25-588-1130111865
Vanderbilt Commodores
R. Odom, F333-50-07117
S. Moats, F303-70-02118
K. Johnson, G388-146-966125
K. Fuller, G366-131-336115
K. Bright, G245-82-281415
S. Jeter171-60-03123
J. Henderson131-31-22003
J. Siakam91-12-21144
Totals 28-5712-1835171480
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
SF Austin18-028-661
Texas A&M-CC15-325-885
Incarn Word12-617-12163
Sam Houston12-618-16178
Hou. Baptist10-817-17225
SE Louisiana9-912-21331
Abil Chr.8-1013-18321
McNeese St.7-119-20341
New Orleans6-1210-20343
Nicholls St.6-1211-23313
C. Arkansas6-127-21338
Nwestern St.5-138-20344

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas A&M13-528-918
S. Carolina11-725-965
Ole Miss10-820-1297
Miss. State7-1114-17152
Other games
EVAN 49 Final
ND 58
SIUE 69 Final