NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sophomore Sacha Washington came up a rebound shy of a double-double, but Vanderbilt fell to Mississippi State 72-44 on Thursday night at Memorial Gymnasium in the SEC opener for both teams.
Mississippi State (12-2, 1-0 SEC) limited Vanderbilt (9-6, 0-1 SEC) to just 25 percent shooting from the field (14 of 57) and 24 percent from behind the 3-point line (6 of 25).
Washington was the lone Commodore to reach double figures in scoring with 11 points while grabbing nine rebounds and a career-high tying three steals.
Paced by 6-foot-5 redshirt senior Jessika Carter, Mississippi State outrebounded Vanderbilt 47-27 and scored 40 points in the paint. Carter finished with a game-high 21 points, including the 1,000th of her career, and 10 rebounds. Asianae Johnson scored 11 points for the Bulldogs and Ahlana Smith and Debreasha Powe each had 10.
Of the eight Vandy players available in the lineup, four of them—graduate transfer guards Ciaja Harbison and Marnelle Garraud and freshmen Ryanne Allen and Jada Brown—were making their SEC debuts.
Allen gave the Dores their only lead at 8-7 on a 3-pointer before Vandy went more than nine minutes without a field goal bridging the first and second quarters until Allen ended the drought with another 3-pointer. The Bulldogs capitalized on Vandy’s scoring woes, ending the first quarter on a 15-3 run and building their lead to as much as 20 points before halftime.
Mississippi State opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers by Smith and Jerkail Jordan for a 24-point advantage that grew to 27. Garraud helped the Dores cut the lead to under 20 with back-to-back 3-pointers of her own to end the third quarter.
But the deeper Bulldogs created even more separation in the fourth quarter, embarking on a 10-0 run near the end to take their largest lead at 72-41.
MSU shot 52 percent from the field (29 of 56), hit nine 3-pointers and received 24 points from its bench in beating Vandy for the ninth straight time. Vanderbilt forced 20 turnovers, but was only able to convert them into seven points.
• Washington scored in double-figures for the third straight game.
• She also tied a career high with three steals while it was the third contest in a row the sophomore has finished with a pair of blocked shots.
• Garraud made three 3-pointers, marking her eighth game this season with at least three from deep.
• Allen finished 2 for 5 from the 3-point line, marking the fifth time this season she has hit multiple shots from beyond the arc.
Vanderbilt’s lead in the all-time series narrowed to 36-24, including 19-6 at home. Vanderbilt’s last victory over the Bulldogs came during the 2014-15 season in Nashville.
Up Next: Vanderbilt plays No. 9 LSU on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT (SEC Network+) at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tickets: Students will continue to receive free admission to all home basketball games. In addition, single-game sales, mini-plans and group ticket options are available. To view the promotional schedule, click here.