Mississippi State forward Aric Holman scored 18 points and had a game-high 14 rebounds, helping the Bulldogs (14-4, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) snap a three-game losing streak with an 80-62 win over visiting Vanderbilt at the Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss. on Tuesday night.
Guards Quinndary Weatherspoon and Lamar Peters added 19 and 10 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs. MSU, a 29.7 percent 3-point shooting team coming in, was 8-of-20 (40 percent) and turned it over just four times.
Vanderbilt freshman reserve center Ejike Obinna, who’d played 99 minutes all season, scored a career-high 14 to lead the Commodores (6-12, 1-5).
Trailing by a dozen, Vanderbilt’s stagnant offense caught fire to start the second half, as the ‘Dores scored 20 in the first eight minutes of the second half. Vandy cut it to five when forward Clevon Brown got a dunk off a pass from guard Larry Austin Jr. and hit the ensuring free throw.
Mississippi State answered with a step-back 3 from Peters, and then Austin’s steal and lay-up cut it back to six with 9:54 left.
But the Bulldogs ripped off a 16-2 run punctuated by Weatherspoon’s steal where Austin tried to tie the ball up on the other end, but slung the MSU junior to the floor at the end of the sequence.
The Vandy junior was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul. Weatherspoon hit both atempts, and then Holman added a lay-up for a 71-52 advantage with 4:54 left.
The Bulldogs led 37-25 at half and held Vanderbilt to 1-of-10 on 3-pointers while turning it over just once.
State ran off a 12-0 run at the end of the half that was only broken by a short bank shot from Vandy guard Riley LaChance to end the half. Two field goals in that run came off steals resulting in lay-ups by Holman and Weatherspoon on the other end.
The Commodores had just 10 scholarship players available. Vanderbilt guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, who hurt his shooting shoulder and exited Saturday’s Kentucky game about a minute into the second half, traveled with the team but did not play due to the injury.
—Field Level Media