Mississippi State routs Vanderbilt 71-55

The Bulldogs (14-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) have won two straight after dropping their first two games to open league play.

Posted: Jan 19, 2019 9:40 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 17 points and No. 24 Mississippi State never trailed in routing struggling Vanderbilt 71-55 on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (14-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) have won two straight after dropping their first two games to open league play. They needed this victory as the first of back-to-back road games, with four of the next five away from Starkville.

Mississippi State has not fared well over the years at Memorial Gym, yet the Bulldogs left with the program's 10th victory in the SEC's oldest gym in 57 games here.

Tyson Carter and Aric Holman added 10 apiece for the Bulldogs.

The worst start to SEC play in school history has only gotten worse for Vanderbilt (9-8, 0-5)

Freshman Simisola Shittu, Vanderbilt's leading scorer, missed his first five shots and finished with a season-low seven points, well below his 14.1-point average.

Saben Lee scored 13 points to lead the Commodores, and Aaron Nesmith added 11.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 10-0 lead and led 15 during the first half, taking advantage of frigid shooting by the Commodores. Vanderbilt didn't reach double digits until Matt Ryan hit a 3 with 7:24 to go, but the Commodores went on a 13-4 run to pull within 29-23 on a pair of free throws by Lee with 1:47 left.

That was as close as Vandy would get as the Bulldogs scored six straight and led 35-27 at halftime, a lead nearly padded by a buzzer beater. Officials reviewed the shot by Lamar Peters and ruled it came too late.

Not that it mattered. Mississippi State shook off another cold-shooting stretch, with Vanderbilt only able to pull within 39-32 on a jumper by Joe Toye with 15:47 to go. Carter hit a 3 that jumpstarted the Bulldogs on a 13-2 spurt capped by a jumper by Robert Woodard II with 11:50 left.

The Bulldogs pushed that to 65-43 on a 3 by Holman with 6:03 remaining.

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