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February 23, 2013

Offensive: Vandy steamrolls State, 72-31

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- While their records may have been similar going into the game, Vanderbilt took just 10 minutes to prove it was in a different league than Mississippi State today.

State, playing with just seven eligible scholarship players, didn't score its first basket until nine minutes remained in the first half. The Commodores never let up, more than doubling up State on the scoreboard on the way to a 72-31 shellacking.

VU went into halftime up 20, 37-17, and then went on a 14-2 run to open the second half, essentially ending any doubt about which team would come out the winner.

VU moves to 11-15 and 5-9 in the Southeastern Conference, while State falls to 7-19 and a league-worst 2-12.

Vanderbilt out-rebounded Mississippi State 51-17, including 20 offensive rebounds.

The 31 points allowed tied the lowest opposing point total allowed in Vanderbilt history since 1949, when VU beat Alabama 36-31.

Kevin Bright led VU with a 15 points, all from 3-point range. Rod Odom had 13, and Sheldon Jeter scored 11. Dai-Jon Parker scored five points, but also had a game-high 13 rebounds and six assists.

Vanderbilt shot 45.9 percent from the floor, while Mississippi State shot just 17.5 percent. VU had 19 assists to State's four, and Vanderbilt's bench out-scored State's, 28-0.

Vanderbilt hit 11-of-31 3-point attempts. MSU was 7-of-40, and 2-for-19 from 3.

"I did not see that coming," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "Some people have come in here and won by good margins and some came in here and struggled, especially lower scoring teams. We got off to such a good start. Our guys were energetic and ready to play.

"We tried to challenge them go give 'A' efforts on both ends of the court, and they did that today."

Much of the credit for the lopsided win was the fact that State -- the SEC's worst outside shooting team -- got just four offensive rebounds and no second-chance points.

"Our rebounding effort was really phenomenal," said Stallings. "I didn't see that part coming either. To hold them to seven field goals on three offensive rebounds is incredible."

Stallings, though, made note of the fact that -- whether his team played well or not -- he knew they were facing an opponent that was woefully out-manned.

"I feel bad for them," said Stallings. "They have six scholarship guys available. They are in a transition mode and sometimes that happens. But whether or not they played well or poorly, we certainly played well."

"I'm so happy about the win more than anything else," said Jeter. "All week our coaches have been drilling us on playing both sides of the court. Against Kentucky we were good offensively but not defensively and we just wanted to put out a good all-around performance.

"Today we made the effort and it really showed up. It was an improved effort tonight."

Vanderbilt returns to Nashville to play Georgia at Memorial Gym on Wednesday at 8:00 pm Central.


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