LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) Jeff Roberson had 11 points and 13 rebounds for No. 19 Vanderbilt, which opened the game with a 27-4 run en route to a 92-55 victory over St. John’s on Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
The Commodores (4-0) will meet the winner of No. 13 Indiana-Wake Forest matchup in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Vanderbilt scored the game’s first nine points and it only got worse from there for the Red Storm (3-1), who lost for the first time under first-year coach Chris Mullin and nearly suffered the worst loss in school history.
Luke Kornet, one of Vanderbilt’s three 7-footers, had 13 points and seven rebounds, and Camron Justice added 11 points.
Federico Mussini led the Red Storm with 14 points.
When the Commodores went up 30-5, they had made 10 of their first 18 shots from the field. St. John’s had made two of 18 in the same span.
The lead got as high as 48-15 with 3:39 to play in the first half, and the Commodores led 53-24 at the break.
The biggest lead was 41 points with 2:31 to play.
Depth and size were certainly issues, with Vanderbilt’s subs outscoring St. John’s 26-0 in the first half. The Commodores finished with a 49-26 rebound advantage.
St. John’s was without freshman guard Malik Ellison (foot) and junior college transfer forward Darien Williams (shoulder).
St. John’s: This is the Red Storm’s first appearance in the Maui Invitational. … St. John’s worst loss was to Kentucky, 81-40, on Dec. 17, 1951. The team beat the Wildcats later in the season to advance to the Final Four. … The Red Storm came back from a 16-point deficit in the second half to Rutgers in their last game.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores won the Maui Invitational in 1986 behind the play of center Will Perdue. They are making their fifth appearance in the Maui Invitational and they entered the game with an 8-4 record. … This was Vanderbilt’s second straight game against a school from Long Island. They beat Stony Brook in overtime last Thursday.
St. John’s: Loser of Indiana-Wake Forest game in Maui Invitational consolation round.
Vanderbilt: Winner of Indiana-Wake Forest game in Maui Invitational semifinals.