Stallings passes Skinner with win over Lipscomb

Nov. 15, 2013

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings entered the 2013-14 season needing only two wins to become the Commodores' all-time wins leader.

He got there in only two games, but he had to sweat a little.

Vanderbilt defeated Lipscomb 80-69 on Friday night in front of a crowd of 8,416 as Stallings picked up his 279th win at Vanderbilt (2-0). The victory moved him past Roy Skinner, who coached Vanderbilt from 1958-76. Stallings is 279-175 in 14 seasons with the Commodores. In tying the late Skinner's record, Vanderbilt also had to pull away late in Tuesday's opener against Georgia State.

"I wish somehow I could win a lot of games and not break his record because you don't want to break his records," Stallings said. "He's too nice a guy."

Vanderbilt forward James Siakam picked up his first career double-double, and forward Rod Odom matched a career-high with 20 points against the Bisons (1-2).

Lipscomb, a crosstown foe from the Atlantic Sun that hadn't won in Memorial Gym since 1939, gave Vanderbilt trouble for more than 30 minutes before the Commodores pulled away late. J.C. Hampton led Lipscomb with 21 points. Khion Sankey added 15 for the Bisons.

The difference though was Siakam and Odom.

Siakam provided energy on several occasions for Vanderbilt, especially in the second half. He had a dunk and three-point play as the Commodores pulled away after the break. The junior added three assists and a block.

"Every time the game got tight and things got close, James came up with a big play," said Odom, who was 8-of-13 from the field. "In a lot of ways, he kept us going, kept us ahead and kept us ahead. He provided energy through is play."

Siakam had never had more than eight points and eight rebounds in a game before Friday, when he topped his career high in the first half alone.

Stallings might not expect 18 points and 13 rebounds out of Siakam every night, but with his energy and length, Stallings said he knew this kind of game was a possibility.

"I want to be that energy guy," said Siakam, who arrived at Vanderbilt from Douala, Cameroon. "I want to be active on defense and block shots."

Vanderbilt needed every bit of it Friday.

Lipscomb took a 48-46 lead with 10:56 to go on three 3-pointers from Hampton and later tied the game at 51 with 8:38 remaining before the Commodores' Eric McClellan hit a free throw to give Vanderbilt the lead for good. Vanderbilt scored 20 of the final 32 points in the game, helped by an 11-0 run.

"We answered a lot" first-year Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. "They had several times to get away from us, and we had guys make good individual plays to answer and get us in the game."

At one point in the first half, Vanderbilt went through a 1-for-7 drought from the field with four turnovers as Lipscomb took a five-point lead midway through the half. Siakam delivered a spark in the final 12.9 seconds by converting a three-point play for a 33-30 halftime lead.

The momentum continued into the second half as Vanderbilt went on a 9-0 run before Hampton's flurry of 3-pointers. Lipscomb was 10-of-28 from beyond the arc for the game and scored 20 points off 11 Vanderbilt turnovers.

"We didn't get it done tonight, not the way I wanted," Stallings said. "We got it done with the final score, but we weren't playing for the final score. We were playing to get better, and I'm not sure we did."



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