Last week, an unheralded but dangerous Stony Brook team pushed a sleepwalking No. 19 Vanderbilt into overtime before falling in Nashville. On Monday, the Commodores played bright eyed and bushy tailed from the opening tip as they tore up St. John's 92-55 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
The Red Storm never had a chance on Monday. St. John's had gone 3-0 to start the season, but that record didn't include a 90-58 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas. The team that had been routed by a Division II team was no match for a Vandy team that can score from any spot in the half court.
Vanderbilt took an early 27-4 lead and never led the Red Storm back into this game. By the time this game passed the 15-minute mark nine different Commodores had scored. Jeff Roberson came off the bench to chip in 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes alone as his team carried a 53-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The 'Dores weren't as crisp in the second half, but they didn't have to be. Kevin Stallings got loose with his rotations in preparation for Tuesday's tournament game, giving big minutes to newcomers like Nolan Cressler, Camron Justice, and Joseph Toye against the Johnnies. They helped the Vandy bench combine for 52 points on the day - nearly enough to take out St. John's on their own. Twelve different players wound up scoring for VU in the team's eventual 92-55 opening round win.
Vanderbilt improved to 4-0 on the season, while the Red Storm fell to 3-1. The Commodores will return to the court on Tuesday night for a showdown with the winner of today's game between Wake Forest and No. 13 Indiana. St. John's will await the loser of that game.