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Mississippi State men’s basketball looks for season sweep over Vanderbilt

Game time is set for noon CT.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team is set for a rematch with the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday at noon CT inside Humphrey Coliseum. The Southeastern Conference contest will air on SEC Network.

The Bulldogs (11-10, 5-7 SEC) dropped a 94-80 home contest to the LSU Tigers on Wednesday. Redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith led MSU with 24 points and 11 rebounds on 10-for-11 shooting. Freshman forward Derek Fountain scored 20 points, while sophomore guard Iverson Molinar had 16 points and freshman guard Deivon Smith had 12.

Redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. leads MSU in scoring with an average of 17.0 points per game, while Molinar is second with 16.8 per game. Tolu Smith is averaging 13.1 points and an SEC-high 8.5 rebounds.

MSU will be looking for a season sweep of Vanderbilt, having already won 84-81 on Jan. 9 at Memorial Gymnasium. The Commodores had the ball with three seconds left before losing it in the backcourt. MSU freshman guard Cameron Matthews was fouled and made one free throw to go up 84-81. Vanderbilt’s full-court desperation heave at the buzzer was off target.

The Commodores (5-10, 1-8 SEC) enter the game having lost all five of their road games, scoring 68.2 points, while allowing 78.8 per game. Vanderbilt fell 73-67 to Auburn on Tuesday.

Sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. leads Vanderbilt with 20.4 points, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals. He is the only SEC player to score in double figures during all his team’s games in 2020-21. Sophomore forward Dylan Disu is putting up an average of 14.4 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds.

Saturday’s meeting is the 132nd between the two programs on the hardwood. The Commodores own a 79-52 series advantage, but the Bulldogs have won the last three meetings and four of the last five. MSU will be looking for its fifth straight win over Vanderbilt at Humphrey Coliseum. The last victory for the Commodores at MSU was a 72-31 win on Feb. 23, 2013.