Vandy Men Fall to Miss. St. 73-66

Jeffery Taylor scored 18 points but it was not enough as the Commodores (12-5, 1-2) fell to the Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-5, 3-0) 73-66 in Starkville Saturday night.

"The second half, offensively, they made some tough shots, and I thought there were times when we defended them really well and they still made them. To start the second half I think they scored 15 points in the first four minutes, 15 seconds, and when we give up points at that rate, even though we were scoring, it's not the kind of situation we can put ourselves in. Defensively we were okay, but not as good as we have been. A lot of that had to do with them. The point guard penetration hurt us, and we did not play intelligently, which is the biggest disappointment for me. We have to be a smarter team than we were this evening, and I have got to coach them to be smarter because we are not going to win on the road in tough environments against good teams playing with the lack of basketball IQ that we played with tonight," Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings said after the game.

Vanderbilt got off to a fast start, opening the game on a 10-4 run that was capped by an A.J. Ogilvy layup.

Mississippi State would answer with a 13-2 run midway through the first half to take the lead and never give it back.

Mississippi State would answer with a 13-2 run midway through the first half to take the lead and never give it back.

Two Taylor turnovers and a missed three by Lance Goulbourne on the final three Vandy possessions of the half would keep the Dores from being able to cut into the Bulldogs' 32-27 lead before halftime.

The second half would be more of the same from State. They put together another big run, 14-5, that increased the lead to 51-40. "We talked about the importance of the first five minutes of the second half. We just didn't play well, but a lot of that had to do with them. We had our chances and we got (Jarvis) Varnado in foul trouble in the first half. Then our two veteran guys kind of lose their poise and composure and get themselves in foul trouble unnecessarily. We put Jarvis in a bad spot there in the first half by going at him with A.J. (Ogilvy). A.J. swings down on a foul, and two blocked shots of guys that weren't even his guys were the fouls that he got. Jermaine's second foul was an driving, completely out-of-control foul. That's just not playing intelligently, and those are our two guys that we count on," said Stallings.

An 11-2 Commodore run would cut the lead to 62-55 with 5:24 left to play, but the Bulldogs rallied and made there free throws to hang on for the tough win.

Vandy had 4 players in double digits including Taylor with 18, Ogilvy and Beal with 14 and Brad Tinsley with 12.

The Bulldogs got double digits from Ravern Johnson with 18, Dee Bost with 16 and Phil Turner with 14.

The Black and Gold will return to action Tuesday night against Tennessee at Memorial Gym. That game tips off at 8 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

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