Mississippi State rallied from an eight point halftime deficit to defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores, 57-54. This is MSU's first conference win of the season and snaps a three-game losing streak. While it was far from being a perfect game for MSU, fans can come away happy knowing that the Bulldogs won't finish the season without a SEC victory. It was also nice to see, despite all the criticism, that the players have not given up on the season.
Despite a huge game by Vanderbilt's Damian Jones, the Bulldogs' found a way to get nearly every player involved in the scoring column for an all around team effort. It wasn't a pretty offensive performance by either team as both MSU and Vandy shot for just 38.5% from the floor. Luckily, State was able to get to the line far more than Vandy and along with I.J Ready's three pointer in the final minutes, the team hit its final four free throws to seal the win.
The second half by the Bulldogs was one of the more impressive performances put forth by State this season. After scoring only 18 points in the first half, in what seemed like a classic slow start for MSU, the Bulldogs came out in the second half to score 39 points. Equally impressive was the Bulldogs' ability to hold a high scoring Vanderbilt squad to only 54 points.
Player of the Game: I.J Ready (11 PTS, 5 REBS)- The man hit the critical three pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead in the final minute of the game. Ready would also hit the final two free throws that would force Vanderbilt to shoot a contested three pointer that would fall short and give the Bulldogs the win.
What's Next?: Mississippi State travels to Auburn for another winnable game. Can the Bulldogs end their road losing streak against the Tigers? We will find out this Wednesday at 8 on the SEC Network.