Commodores roll to 80-65 win in opener


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt rolled to an 80-65 win over Nicholls State on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym in the Commodores 2012-13 season-opener.

Vanderbilt has now won six-straight season-openers, dating back to the 2006-07 season. The Commodores (1-0 overall) are now 3-0 all-time versus Nicholls State (0-1 overall).

Behind a career day from Kedren Johnson, the Commodores took complete control of the game at the start of the second half. Johnson set new career-highs in points (25), rebounds (6) and assists (6). The Lewisburg, Tenn., native was an efficient 8-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range.

The Commodores came out of the locker room after half with a quick 6-0 run to extend their lead to 11 (34-23). From there, Vanderbilt continued its hot shooting as the Commodores would score 21 points in the first four and a half minutes of the second half.

Kevin Bright and Kyle Fuller each scored 15 points for the Commodores, while Bright led the team with eight rebounds in his collegiate debut. Fuller’s 15 points were a new career-high, while he tied for the team-lead in assists with six, which also set a new career-high.

The Commodores shot 49 percent from the field for the game, including 66 percent from the field in the second half. Vanderbilt shot 72 percent (8-of-11) from beyond the arc in the second half and 46 percent (12-of-26) for the game.

Fred Hunter led Nicholls State with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam McBeath and T.J. Carpenter added 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Vanderbilt led by six points at the half, 28-22, behind 10 points from Johnson. Johnson (4-of-10 from the field) was the lone Commodore in double-figures in the first half.

Bright led all rebounders with seven boards in the first half. Johnson and Rod Odom each had four boards, apiece.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, as Vanderbilt shot 33 percent and Nicholls State shot just 31 percent. Vanderbilt held a slight rebounding advantage after one half, 21-19.

Fred Hunter led all scorers with 11 points for Nicholls State, while also adding a team-high five rebounds.

Vanderbilt hits the road for the first time in the 2012-13 season, when the Commodores travel to Eugene, Ore., to take on the Oregon Ducks Friday, Nov. 16. Tipoff is slated for 10 p.m. CT on the Pac 12 Network.