Rod Odom wasn’t surprised.
When Vanderbilt guard Dai-Jon Parker started spotting up from beyond the arc, Odom knew his teammate would deliver.
Parker didn’t disappoint Saturday, draining five 3-pointers and scoring 17 points -- both career-highs -- to help lead the Commodores to a 63-56 victory over Texas A&M at Memorial Gymnasium.
“I have been playing with Dai for a while now and I know he can shoot,” Odom said. “Everybody knows he can shoot so it was just a matter of time before they start falling. Especially since he is putting extra time in, they didn’t really have a choice but to fall.”
Odom added 19 points and tied a personal-best with four 3-pointers. His open trey in the left corner with a minute left pushed the lead to eight and thwarted a comeback attempt by Texas A&M (15-10, 5-7 Southeastern Conference).
Vanderbilt (10-14, 4-8) led 46-33 with 8:36 left after five straight points from Parker, including a tough reverse layup around 6-foot-9 Kourtney Roberson. Josh Henderson, who scored 11 points off the bench, made a layup with 3:18 to go for an 11-point advantage, but the Aggies scored six straight points and, after a VU turnover, cut the lead to 56-51 on two free throws with 1:29 remaining.
Then Odom stepped up and made a big 3-pointer that basically assured the win – just the second in the last seven games for Vanderbilt. That sent the 11,269 in attendance home happy.
The crowd featured three former Commodores greats and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Texas A&M graduate whose son went to Vanderbilt. Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor, all taken in last year’s NBA Draft, were back in town because of the All-Star Break and received a standing ovation in the second half.
Parker, primarily known for his defense, did his best to emulate Jenkins’ sharpshooting – at least for one day.
The sophomore hadn’t made more than two 3-pointers in a game before Saturday. Against the Aggies, he sank all three of his attempts in the first half and made five of seven. He attributed extra time in the gym lately – in between classes, after study hall –to the sudden flurry.
“It probably wasn’t on their scouting report,” Parker said smiling. “I had to pull it out my bag of tricks [Saturday]. I had to come through for my team. My teammates got me the ball and I just wanted to make the most of it.”