|Vanderbilt (5-10, 1-8) at Mississippi State (11-10, 5-7)|
|Saturday, Feb. 13 • Noon|
|Humphrey Coliseum (10,595)|
|Watch: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Jon Sundvold)|
|Listen: WQZQ 830 AM, 93.3 FM, 101.9 FM
Kevin Ingram (play-by-play), Tim Thompson (analyst)
- Meeting for the 132nd time, Vanderbilt leads the all-time series with Mississippi State 79-52.
- Mississippi State has won the last three meetings and four of the last five, including this season’s matchup at Memorial on Jan. 9. Vanderbilt had the ball trailing by one in the closing seconds, but the Bulldogs forced a turnover and hit two free throws with two seconds remaining. Vandy’s last-ditch heave was off the mark.
- Mississippi State leads the series in Starkville 35-23, including four straight wins.
- Vanderbilt’s new starting lineup marked the 11th different starting lineup combination in 15 games—Scotty Pippen Jr., Dylan Disu, Clevon Brown, Jordan Wright and Maxwell Evans.
- Twelve different Commodores have started a game.
- Pippen Jr. is the only Commodore to start every game this season and has started 29 in a row.
- Brown registered five blocks Tuesday to move his career total to 121 and move past Julian Terrell (116) for the sixth-most in program history. A.J. Ogilvy is fifth with 145.
- “I think coming down the stretch, we haven’t been getting many stops,” Wright said after the loss to Auburn. “Teams have been getting to the free throw line a lot, and we haven’t been answering on the offensive end. We’re getting buckets, but we aren’t stringing together enough stops at the end of games.”
- Vanderbilt is all but back to full strength with all but one player available for its last two games—freshman Tyrin Lawrence (ACL).
- In all, Vanderbilt has had 11 players injured players this season for a total of 40 missed games: Disu (1), Akeem Odusipe (2), Wright (2), DJ Harvey (2), Quentin Millora-Brown (3), Drew Weikert (3), Issac McBride (3), Myles Stute (4), Lawrence (7), Brown (6), Braelee Albert (7).
- The Commodores rank second in the SEC in made 3s per game (9.3). Vanderbilt has made at least four 3s in 30 consecutive games. The streak began immediately after the Commodores were held without a 3 for the first time in 1,080 games against Tennessee on Jan. 25, 2020.
Keys to Victory
- In each of the four SEC wins under head coach Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt has eclipsed the 80-point mark. In all, Vanderbilt has hit the 80-point mark 14 times in the Stackhouse era with a 11-3 record in those games, including 11-1 in regulation (only regulation loss was Jan. 9, 2021 against Mississippi State, 84-81).
- Vanderbilt is 5-2 when tied or leading at the half and 0-8 when trailing at the break.
- Vanderbilt is 4-1 when scoring 75 or more and 1-9 when scoring less than 75 this season.
- Evans is averaging 10.6 points per game in Vanderbilt’s wins and just 4.5 points in losses.
- The Commodores are 0-6 during the week this season (5-4 on the weekends).
Worth the Wait
- Vanderbilt’s season-opening date of Nov. 27 was the latest beginning to a season in 31 years. The Commodores began the 1989-90 season by facing Southern Methodist on the same Nov. 27 date. (Vanderbilt won its fourth straight season opener and its 14th straight home opener).
- With eight new players this season, Vanderbilt didn’t have much tune-up before SEC play. The Commodores played just six nonconference games—its fewest since 1952-53 (the first season Memorial Gymnasium opened). At that time, Tulane and Georgia Tech were still in the SEC.
- Disu has recorded four double-doubles this season (nine for his career) and leads the SEC in defensive rebounding with 6.3 per game. He is second in the league in overall rebounding with 8.3 per contest.
- Not only is Pippen Jr. second in the SEC with 20.4 points per game, he is also second in the league with 5.1 assists per game. He is one of just four players in the nation averaging more than 20 points and five assists per game—and one of just three Power 5 players.
- Pippen, who was named preseason All-SEC second team, scored at least 15 points in 11 straight games (Dec. 13 – Jan. 30), the longest streak by a Vanderbilt player since John Jenkins in 2011-12 (19 straight).
- Pippen has scored at least 20+ points seven times and 30+ points twice, including a career-high 32 at Florida (Jan. 27). He is the only player in the SEC this season with multiple 30-point games.
- Pippen has tied or matched his career-high point total five different times this season. He has led the team in scoring nine times in 15 games, and has also led the Dores in assists 12 times.
- Earlier this season against Kentucky and Mississippi State, Pippen became the first Commodore since 2000 with eight or more assists in back-to-back games, and was the first Commodore since 2005 with 12 assists in a game (Mario Moore) as well as the first Commodore since 2015 to record a double-double with points and assists (Wade Baldwin IV).
- Pippen was the first Commodore in five years with 5+ assists in four straight games (Wade Baldwin IV did so in four consecutive SEC games in February 2016).
- Auburn shot 51.9 percent in the second half to control the narrative and leave Memorial Gymnasium with a 73-67 win Tuesday over Vanderbilt.
- The Commodores had a 25-23 lead at the break, but Auburn made six of its nine triples in the second 20 minutes and led by as many as 11 in the waning moments.
- Disu led Vandy with his fourth double-double of the season. The sophomore scored 18 and brought down 10 rebounds. Wright scored 14. Before fouling out with five minutes to play, Pippen Jr. scored 12 points and collected four boards.
A Vandy Victory Would…
- … be the first over Mississippi State since an 81-80 victory at Memorial on Feb. 15, 2018.
- … mark the first win in Starkville since Feb. 23, 2013—a dominant 72-31 victory over the Bulldogs.
- … be the first SEC road win since the road finale last season at Alabama on March 3.
A Vandy Defeat Would…
- … be the first four-game losing streak to the Bulldogs since a four-game skid between 2001-04.
- … be less good than a win.
- Vanderbilt returns home Wednesday to take on Kentucky before heading to SEC-leader Alabama on Feb. 20.