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November 25, 2013

Fuller helps Vandy slip by LMU in St. Thomas

Vanderbilt survived foul trouble and a blown lead thanks to 20 points from senior Kyle Fuller, as the Commodores beat Loyola-Marymount, 77-67, to take fourth place in the ezybonds Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands on Monday.

Vandy led throughout most of the second half, but the Lions kept chipping away, tying the game on an Ayodeji Egbeyemi lay-up with 9:14 left, and then taking a lead on Anthony Ireland's lay-up with 8:45 remaining. The teams traded leads, and then Fuller hit a 3 from the right side of the key to put Vandy up 62-60 with 4:08 left.

After an offensive foul on Alex Osborne, Josh Henderson canned a pair of foul shots with 3:35 left. The Lions never got closer than two again at the 2:07 mark, but Fuller hit a short jumper from the low right block and then got the game's next four points on four free throws.

Fuller played 31 minutes, hit 5-of-7 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line, and handed out four assists. With James Siakam, Eric McClellan and Damian Jones each having four fouls, VU needed everything it got from the Californian, who ran the point some down the stretch.

McClellan had 16 and Siakam and Josh Henderson each had 11 for the Commodores (4-2), who don't play again until a game at Texas on Monday, Dec. 2.

VU went 2-1 on the trip, also beating Morgan State after losing to Providence.

A highlight on Monday was VU's 75 percent success rate at the charity stripe, as the Commodores had struggled mightily there both this year and last. The 'Dores also out-rebounded LMU, 38-32, but uncharacteristically took just 10 3s, hitting three.

Jones, Vandy's freshman star, had four points and five rebounds in only 12 minutes.

Vanderbilt led for most of the first half, and was up 11 at one point before a late LMU rally cut the score to 34-30 at the half. McClellan (10 points) led VU in scoring at the break.

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