Barrage of 3s Buries Bulldogs

Pippen, Vanderbilt beat Mississippi State 72-51

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Vanderbilt had three in double figures and buried 13 3s en route to a 72-51 win Saturday at Mississippi State.

Maxwell Evans led the Commodores with 20 points while Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 18 and dished out nine assists. Clevon Brown chipped in 15 points to go along with five steals.

The Commodores (6-10, 2-8 SEC) return home at 6 p.m. Wednesday to host Kentucky (6-13, 5-7 SEC).

Vanderbilt made four of its first five shots Saturday and three of those makes were triples by Pippen. That coupled with a Brown three-point play gave Vandy an early, 12-11 lead.

A Pippen steal and layup giving the Dores a four-point lead and 17 points in the first 5 1/2 minutes – Pippen had 11 of those points.

Vanderbilt went to the bench after that and got 3s from Myles Stute and Trey Thomas along with a steal and layup from DJ Harvey to build a lead as big as 25-17. Mississippi State fought back to draw even at 28-all before an Evans 3 – Vanderbilt’s eighth of the first half.

Evans’ 3 sparked a 17-2 Vanderbilt run over the final 5:03 of the first half and allowed the Commodores to take a 45-30 lead into the break. Vandy made 10 of its 17 3s and shot 51.7 percent from the floor overall.

Vanderbilt opened a 20-point lead early in the second half when Evans buried the team’s 12th 3 making it 55-35. The Dores nearly four minutes without a score after that, but Evans stepped up with a three-point play to keep Vandy up 58-40.

The Bulldogs hit back-to-back shots with less than eight minutes to go to draw within 60-46. A two-handed Brown slam reversed the momentum and restored order for the visitors and then the senior’s 3 made it 64-46 with 4:42 to play.

Mississippi State didn’t have a late run left in the tank.

Iverson Molinar led the Bulldogs (11-11, 5-8 SEC) with 17.

• Pippen, Dylan Disu, Evans, Jordan Wright and Brown started Saturday’s game for Vanderbilt.

• Pippen is the only Commodore to have started all 16 games for Vandy this season and has started 30 straight games for Vanderbilt.

• Vanderbilt has now made at least four 3s in 31 consecutive games.

• Vandy is now 6-2 when tied or leading at halftime this season.

• The Commodores are now 73-52 in the all-time series against Mississippi State and is 24-35 in Starkville.

• Vanderbilt won its first game in Starkville since a 72-31 victory in 2013.