Things went from bad to worse Friday for the Vanderbilt men’s basketball team. Make that ‘worst.’
The Commodores’ produced their worst offensive performance under coach Kevin Stallings – their worst in more than 30 years, to be exact – in a 50-33 loss to Marist on the second day of play at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
It was their lowest point total since Jan. 30, 1982 when they lost 33-31 to Mississippi State. That was before college basketball instituted a shot clock.
Their previous low under Stallings, the coach since 1999-00, was 43 points in back-to-back games against South Carolina and Mississippi State in Feb. 2002.
"Early in the game, we got really good looks," Stallings said. "We got the ball right to the basket, and we got wide open looks for three. I never like to blame it on shooting or lack thereof, [as] it feels like a copout. I just think our guys are so uptight and lack self-confidence right now."
After a season-opening victory, Vanderbilt (1-3) has now lost three straight, including two in as many days at the Old Spice Classic. It opened with a 75-62 defeat against Davidson on Thursday.
Aagainst Marist (2-3), James Siakim led the Commodores with a career-high eight points off the bench. The sophomore forward, who had eight points in the first three games combined, also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
No other Vanderbilt player scored more than five.
It took more than six minutes before the Commodores scored their first points, a 3-pointer by Sheldon Jeter after Marist had jumped out to an 8-0 lead. They trailed 27-14 at halftime and took more than six minutes before they got their first second-half point, a Siakim free throw, and more than seven and a half minutes before their first field goal, a Kedren Johnson layup.
As a team, they shot 23 percent from the floor (14-for-61) and 10 percent from 3-point range (2-for-20). They got to the foul line jut six times and made three, and had more than three times as many turnovers (13) as assists.
"We defended well enough to win the game — they scored 50," Stallings said. "We just couldn't get the ball in the goal."
Vanderbilt's final game at the event is 10:30 a.m. (CST) against either Texas-El Paso or Clemson.