STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball nearly blew a 16-point lead to Vanderbilt Saturday night at Humphrey Coliseum, but managed to hang on for an 80-70 win.
The Bulldogs held a 12-5 lead early in the game and managed to hold a lead for most of the first half. However, with the score being 29-23 in favor of the Bulldogs, the Commodores went on a 12-0 run to jump ahead at 35-29 with 23 seconds to play in the opening half.
A layup by senior guard Tyson Carter ended the scoring in the first half as MSU went into the halftime break trailing 35-31.
The Bulldogs have developed into a second-half team, and they stuck to their identity by scoring the first seven points of the second half to take a 38-35 lead. MSU’s hot shooting continued as the Bulldogs built up a 55-44 lead with 12:20 to play in the game.
State built its lead up to 16 points at 62-46 with 10:21 to go, but Vanderbilt wasn’t going to go away without a fight. The Commodores managed to draw within six points at 69-63 with 4:44 left on the clock.
Mississippi State didn’t let the deficit to get any smaller than six points, though, as the Bulldogs outlasted the Commodores for an 80-70 Southeastern Conference win.
Sophomore forward Reggie Perry continues to make his case for SEC Player of the Year as he finished with 25 points on 7-of-10 (70.0%) shooting to go with 11 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season.
Junior guard Nick Weatherspoon also played a big role in the win with 21 points on 8-of-9 (88.8%) shooting, six rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Tyson Carter chipped in with 16 points on 6-of-11 (54.6%) shooting.
The Bulldogs shot 28-of-53 (52.8%) from the field while holding the Commodores to 23-of-58 (39.7%) shooting. State held a 37-30 rebounding edge in the contest.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to ace rival Ole Miss. Tip time is set for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPNU.