Miss State sails past Vanderbilt, 80-70

The Mississippi State men’s basketball team fought their way back into the win column as Tyson Carter, Reggie Perry and Nick Weatherspoon racked up 42 second-half points on a scorching 13-for-16 shooting clip to lift the Bulldogs past Vanderbilt, 80-70, on Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum.

The victory moved Mississippi State (15-8, 6-4 SEC) into a three-way tie with Florida and South Carolina into fourth place in the SEC standings. The Bulldogs have won four straight and improved to 14-4 against the Commodores (9-14, 1-9 SEC) in Starkville since 1989-90.

Mississippi State captured its 20th halftime comeback victory under fifth-year coach Ben Howland, and it marked the third consecutive SEC win for the Bulldogs when trailing at the break. The Bulldogs hit on their first eight shot attempts en route to a 62.5 field goal percentage during the second half.

Reggie Perry stuffed the stats sheet as he exploded for 25 points and 11 rebounds coupled with a career-high tying six assists and a career-high equaling four blocks. He was 7-of-10 from the field, 3-of-5 on treys and 8-of-9 at the charity stripe.

For Perry, he has amassed 20-plus points in three of his last four appearances and eight of his last 12 outings. The Bulldogs improved to 8-1 when Perry has eclipsed 20-plus points. The sophomore also turned in his SEC-leading 13th double-double on the season and 22nd of his career.  

Weatherspoon rattled home a season’s best 21 points, one shy of his career-high, on an 8-of-9 shooting clip. He grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists. Weatherspoon has provided double figures in 10 of his 13 games on the season.

Carter did the heavy lifting off the bench as he pumped in 16 points to go along with two steals and two steals. The 16-point effort marked his best scoring output since he pumped in 18 points versus Georgia on 01/18. He also jumped into 25th place on MSU’s all-time scoring list and moved past Leland Mitchell (1961-62-63) and Dave Williams (1966-67-68).

D.J. Stewart Jr. garnered seven points and four rebounds whereas Robert Woodard II chipped in five points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Abdul Ado and Iverson Molinar rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs. Ado added four points, while Molinar contributed a basket. Ado also secured three boards and distributed two assists.

For the contest, MSU hit 28-of-53 shots from the field (52.8 percent), 5-of-14 shots from 3-point range (35.7 percent) and 19-of-25 shots from the foul line (76.0 percent).

The Bulldogs had 15 assists and 16 turnovers, while Vanderbilt had nine assists and 11 turnovers. State held a 37-30 rebounding advantage and worked its way to a 42-30 edge in paint points.

Vanderbilt shot 23-of-58 overall (39.7 percent), 6-of-24 on three-pointers (25.0 percent) and 18-of-23 at the charity stripe (78.3 percent). Saben Lee paced the Commodores with 20 points, six steals and four assists. Ejike Obinna and Jordan Wright followed with 12 and 11 points, respectively.