Marist (1-3) vs. Vanderbilt (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (5,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Marist 0-1, Vanderbilt 1-0. Away Record: Marist 1-1, Vanderbilt 0-1. Neutral Record: Marist 0-1, Vanderbilt 0-1. Conference Record: Marist 0-0, Vanderbilt 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Vanderbilt Commodores try to bring an end to a two-game slide on Friday afternoon as they face off against the Marist Red Foxes as part of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida.
The Commodores opened the season on a positive note with an 80-65 triumph over Nicholls State, but since then the team has bowed to both Oregon (74-48) on the road, and Davidson yesterday in a 75-62 final in the first round of games in this tournament.
As for the Red Foxes, they've dropped three of their first four games to tip off the 2012-13 campaign. The lone victory was a 67-62 outing against Columbia on the road last Saturday. More recently, Marist was dominated by West Virginia on Thanksgiving Day in an 87-44 final, the scoring total for the Red Foxes being their lowest of the season.
Following the first-ever meeting between these two teams, they will be back in action in the final round of play on Sunday, matching up against Clemson and UTEP depending on the outcomes on Friday.
Marist led by three points early in the first half against the Mountaineers on Thursday, but the Red Foxes completely fell apart in the period overall as they shot just 5-of-20 from the field and finished the outing hitting on just 27.1 percent from the floor overall. The starting five for Marist combined to shoot only 5-of-25 from the field, which left reserve Isaiah Morton as the only player in double figures for the group with 10 points, adding six assists in an effort to offset his eight turnovers. In fact, the team as a whole suffered 23 miscues, which the Mountaineers traded in for 31 points. Scoring only 57.0 ppg on the season, the Red Foxes are clearly struggling at the offensive end of the floor. The team is shooting just 37.3 percent from the field and is averaging 17 turnovers per outing now. Devin Price is the lone double-digit scorer for the group with 11.8 ppg, but his 25.5 percent shooting from the floor is anything but encouraging.
In more of a finesse game than anything else, the Commodores fell behind by eight points at the end of the first half and then late in the second half the team also slowed down as Davidson moved out to a double-digit lead and then cruised to victory. Aside from turning the ball over five times, with just one assist, Kedren Johnson did all that he could to keep Vandy in the mix as he tallied a game-high 28 points on 4-of-6 shooting behind the three-point line and 11-of-17 from the floor overall. Kyle Fuller contributed 14 points and six boards in the setback as well. Johnson has made good on 9-of-21 shots from behind the three-point line through three games for the Commodores, allowing him to claim the top spot on the scoring list with a hefty 22.3 ppg. In addition to pouring in the points, Johnson is also clearing 4.3 rpg and has a team-best 10 assists as well. Fuller checks in with 15.3 ppg, but after that the production drops off considerably for a team posting 63.3 ppg.
The Red Foxes took a serious shot to their scoring stats on Thursday and it might take them some time to bounce back, which is good news for Vandy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vanderbilt 62, Marist 56
11/23 15:48:23 ET