Vanderbilt blasts Mississippi State, 72-31

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- After his team's 74-70 loss to Kentucky on Wednesday night, Vanderbilt's Kevin Bright says he and his teammates decided on a plan.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- After his team's 74-70 loss to Kentucky on Wednesday night, Vanderbilt's Kevin Bright says he and his teammates decided on a plan.

"When we came out against Kentucky, we were just not as aggressive as normally we were," Bright said. "We decided to make rebounding and executing on defense a goal for ourselves."

Bright and the Commodores did just that on Saturday, outrebounding Mississippi State 51-17 on their way to a 72-31 victory.

The Commodores (11-15, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) made 11 of 31 shots from beyond the arc, finishing 28 for 61 from the floor (46 percent).

Bright scored 15 points on five 3-pointers and Rod Odom finished with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting to lead Vanderbilt. Sheldon Jeter scored 11 points, and Dai-Jon Parker grabbed 13 rebounds and 6 assists.

"We weren't doing anything special," Bright said. "We just executed. We ran our plays and that led to open shots and open layups."

It was the largest margin of victory for Vanderbilt in an SEC game since a win over Kentucky in 1998. It was also the fewest points allowed by a Vanderbilt team since a win over Alabama in January of 1949.

Mississippi State (7-19, 2-12), which has lost 12 straight games, was 15-of-18 from the free throw line, but did not score a field goal until the 8:48 mark of the first half. They finished 7 for 40 from the field.

"When you're not having success on offense, it runs downhill from there," first-year MSU head coach Rick Ray said. "Not covering the high-ball screen is our biggest problem right now."

This was the second-worst loss for Mississippi State in Humphrey Coliseum history. It was also the lowest scoring output for MSU in the shot clock era.

Earlier this month, Mississippi State lost to Missouri 78-36 at home. Due to attrition, injuries and suspensions, the Bulldogs are playing with only eight active players on their roster.

"They're playing shorthanded, and we know that," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "But I credit our guys with doing what they needed to do to prepare for the game. I would have never predicted this would have been this one-sided. I've been on the other side of those. It's no fun."

Vanderbilt opened the game with a 15-2 run and led 37-17 at halftime.

"With 10 minutes left in the game, we knew this game was over," Bright said. "But coach wanted us to come out and play hard and execute in both halves and that's what we did."

Ray understands the frustrations surrounding the blowouts, but still sees his team doing some good things, especially early.

"All these stats about how bad we're getting blown out, I'd like somebody to go back and look at how many scholarship players those other teams had," Ray said.

Jalen Steele led Mississippi State with nine points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Vanderbilt hosts Georgia on Wednesday.

"We're trying to improve each and every game," Bright said. "We want to play in the (SEC) tournament, we want to play well in the tournament. These last couple of games are really important for us." Top Stories