January 26, 2019 / 11:29 PM / in 23 days

James scores 21, Sooners pound Vanderbilt by 31 in Big 12-SEC challenge

Christian James scored 21 points to lead Oklahoma to an 86-55 home win over Vanderbilt as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

The win was the second consecutive for the Sooners (15-5). Vanderbilt (9-10) has now lost seven in a row.

Vanderbilt had been showing signs of progress recently as it continues to adjust to life without freshman point guard Darius Garland, the highly-touted prospect who suffered a season-ending knee injury in November. Garland recently announced that he was withdrawing from the school to concentrate on preparations for the NBA Draft.

The Commodores were coming off an overtime loss to No. 1 Tennessee, but there weren’t a lot of positives against the Sooners.

The Commodores hung with the Sooners early, even taking a brief lead. But as soon as Vanderbilt went ahead, Oklahoma took control.

The Sooners scored 19 consecutive points, punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers from sophomore forward Brady Manek to end the run.

The Commodores went nearly six minutes without a field goal in the first half, missing 10 consecutive shots after starting the game making seven of their first nine.

By halftime, Oklahoma led 41-23 after Vanderbilt finished the half hitting just three of their last 18 shots from the field and turning the ball over 14 times.

Things didn’t change much after halftime, as the Sooners shot 69 percent (20 of 29) from the floor after halftime.

James has now scored 20 or more points in three of the Sooners’ past four games, though he was coming off a season-low five points in Wednesday’s win over Oklahoma State.

Manek added 16 points and Rashard Odomes scored 14 for Oklahoma. Odomes was 7 for 8 from the field.

Freshman point guard Jamal Bieniemy was held scoreless against Vanderbilt, missing his only two shots, but he had a season-high seven assists, plus four steals and turned the ball over just once. Bieniemy also had five rebounds after entering the game with just six all season.

Saben Lee led the Commodores with career-high tying 24 points, going 9-of-12 from the field.

—Field Level Media

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