Vanderbilt guard Riley LaChance hit a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left, leading the Commodores to an 81-80 win over Mississippi State on Wednesday at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.
Commodores forward Jeff Roberson scored 22 points, and LaChance had 16 points and eight assists. Vanderbilt guard Payton Willis (15) and forward Joe Toye (16) had season highs in points.
Mississippi State placed five players in double figures: guards Xavian Stapleton (18), Tyson Carter (12) and Nick Weatherspoon (10), and forwards Abdul Ado (15) and Aric Holman (11).
Mississippi State shot 58.5 percent from the field, but Vandy was 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) from 3-point range.
After trailing most of the second half, the Bulldogs held a 79-76 lead when Ado threw down a dunk off a loose ball with 20 seconds left.
Toye and Roberson each hit a foul shot for Vanderbilt. Mississippi State’s Stapleton hit one free throw and missed the second as Roberson rebounded. LaChance got the ball along the right side, turned and drilled the shot.
The second half became a 3-point competition midway through.
Willis drained an open trey from the left corner, giving Vandy (10-16, 4-9 Southeastern Conference) its biggest lead at 56-45 with 12:54 left.
Mississippi State, a 29.3 percent 3-point shooting team coming in, heated up from long distance in the second half. Stapleton sandwiched a pair of bombs around one from Vanderbilt’s LaChance.
Toye drove in from the left wing and posterized Holman with a tomahawk dunk over a defender three inches taller, bringing the crowd to its feet at the 7:00 mark.
Stapleton then hit another 3-pointer from the right side before Toye answered with one of his own.
Finally, Mississippi State went up 72-71 with 3:53 left when Stapleton hit the Bulldogs’ seventh-consecutive 3-pointer.
Mississippi State shot 50 percent in the first half yet trailed 40-31 at the break as the Commodores shot 51.7 percent, which included seven 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs controlled the game early, as Vanderbilt couldn’t stop Mississippi State from getting good looks in the paint while in zone or man. The visitors led 22-14 with 9:49 left, but a 13-0 run put the Commodores ahead not even three minutes later.
Mississippi State tied it at 27 after Quinndary Weatherspoon hit a long 3-pointer, but Vandy went on a 13-4 run to end the half.
—Field Level Media