Siakam powers 'Dores to win, 77-69

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Redshirt sophomore James Siakam led the Vanderbilt men’s basketball team to a 77-69 exhibition win over St. Xavier on Friday night at Memorial Gym.

SiakamSiakam led all scorers and rebounders with 22 points and 17 rebounds. Had tonight’s game not been an exhibition game, he would have set career-highs in both categories. Amazingly, 11 of his 17 rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor.

Four other Commodores scored in double-figures on the night. Kedren Johnson recorded 19 points and six rebounds on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor.

Rod Odom tallied 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting, while Kyle Fuller and Kevin Bright each scored 11 points. Fuller led the team with a game-high six assists and three steals.

A sloppy game overall, the Commodores turned the ball over 19 times. As a team, Vanderbilt outrebounded St. Xavier, 52-27, while also shooting 44 percent from the field.

A scrappy St. Xavier team would not let the heavy-favored Commodores walk out of the gym without a fight. Vanderbilt’s largest lead of the game was only 15 points, which occurred midway through the second half.

Anthony Grant led St. Xavier with 19 points, while Brad Karp and Tony Core finished in double-figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Both teams struggled out of the gate early with poor shooting and turnovers. The Commodores heated up as the first half went on and eventually shot 42 percent from the field, while holding St. Xavier to just 24 percent, as Vanderbilt led at the half, 36-23.

The teams combined to turn the ball over 23 times in the first half (Vanderbilt 13, St. Xavier 10).

Johnson led all scorers with 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting. Siakam recorded 11 of the team’s 30 rebounds in the first half to go along with his 10 points off the bench.

The Commodores will take the court Monday, Nov. 5, for their final tune-up before the regular season begins, as Vanderbilt hosts Delta State at Memorial Gym. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.