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Mississippi State men’s basketball falls 72-51 in rematch against Vanderbilt

Bulldogs fall to 11-11.

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team could not overcome 13 made 3-pointers by the Vanderbilt Commodores in Saturday’s 72-51 loss at Humphrey Coliseum.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 11-11 (5-8 SEC), while the Commodores improve to 6-10 (2-8 SEC).

Sophomore guard Iverson Molinar led the Bulldogs with 19 points and six rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard D.J. Stewart Jr. and freshman guard Deivon Smith had nine points apiece, while redshirt sophomore forward Tolu Smith had seven points and six boards.

MSU shot 22-for-52 (42.3%), including 5-for-19 (26.3%) on 3-pointers. The Bulldogs found themselves at the free-throw line just three times, making two of their four (50.0%) attempts.

Vanderbilt was led by senior guard Maxwell Evans with 20 points, while sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 18 and dished out nine assists. Senior forward Clevon Brown added 15 points.

The Commodores shot 25-for-55 (45.5%), including 13-for-30 (43.3%) on 3-pointers. They made nine of their 12 (75.0%) free throws and outrebounded the Bulldogs by a 36-27 margin.

Pippen scored all of Vanderbilt’s first nine points as the Commodores led 9-4 with 17:49 left in the first half. A layup by Tolu Smith and a 3-pointer by Stewart tied things up at 9-9 with 16:46 left.

The Commodores used a 10-2 spurt to go up 22-15 with 10:13 left. The Bulldogs responded with an 11-3 run to tie things up at 28-28 with 5:26 to play in the opening half.

Vanderbilt closed out the half on a 17-2 run to take a 45-30 lead into the halftime break. The Commodores made 10 of their 13 3-pointers in the first half.

The Bulldogs found themselves down 20 at 55-35 with 15:11 left in the game and were unable to make any sort of comeback as they went on to fall 72-51.

MSU returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Alabama to face the Auburn Tigers inside Auburn Arena. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. CT and will air on ESPNU.