Nicholls State vs Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt 80, Nicholls 65

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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 2017 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
 43.1%72.7% 
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
 49.1%66.7% 
Southland
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
New Orleans11-316-9159
SF Austin10-415-11212
Texas A&M-CC10-517-9173
Sam Houston9-618-10169
Hou. Baptist8-613-12209
Lamar8-716-12243
SE Louisiana8-815-14257
C. Arkansas7-98-21279
Abil Chr.6-912-14292
Incarn Word6-911-15303
Nicholls St.5-912-15266
McNeese St.4-107-18302
Nwestern St.4-1110-16324

Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Florida13-223-58
Kentucky13-223-510
Arkansas10-521-735
S. Carolina10-520-830
Alabama9-516-1075
Ole Miss8-717-1166
Vanderbilt8-715-1349
Tennessee7-815-1352
Georgia6-815-1257
Auburn6-917-1177
Texas A&M6-914-1394
Miss. State5-1014-13135
Missouri2-137-20242
LSU1-149-18172
 
Other games
EVAN 49 Final
ND 58
SIUE 69 Final
MIZZ 83