STARKVILLE, Miss. — Maxwell Evans scored 20 points, Scotty Pippen Jr. added 18 and Vanderbilt hit 10 3-pointers in the first half to jump start a 72-51 win at Mississippi State on Saturday.
Clevon Brown added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Commodores (6-10, 2-8 Southeastern Conference), who tuned out any outside noise to pick up their first road win of the season.
An article appeared in The Athletic on Friday in which Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse insinuated his critics were racist and said, “All I can say is, 75 million people voted for Trump. That’s all I can say. You ain’t fooling me. I know what it’s about, a lot of you hate everything we did when we came here about the staff, the diversity of the staff, it was this or that.”
After the game Stackhouse said, “That wasn’t a target at our fans. That was taken totally out of context.”
Joe Rexrode, who wrote the story, said on twitter, “I definitely did not take it as attacking fans. … I took it as critics in general, some of whom are racists.”
That had no effect on the players unless it fired them up.
The game was tied at 28 with just over five minutes to go in the first half when Vanderbilt put together a 17-0 run with Evans, Pippen and Brown combining for 14 points. Dylan Disu contributed one of the three 3-pointers the Commodores hit while going 5 of 7 from the field and 4 of 4 from the foul line.
The Bulldogs, who missed six-straight shots, got a last-second basket from Deivon Smith to trail 45-30 at the half.
Mississippi State, which won the first meeting 84-81, shot 52% in the first half to match Vandy but the disparity in 3s — 10 of 17 vs. 2 of 9 — changed the game.
Smith opened the second half with a 3 but the 12-point deficit was as close as it would be. Evans had a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around two baskets by Brown in a 10-2 run and the lead was quickly back to 20. Both teams shot less than 40% in the second half.
Evans, who was 4 of 8 from 3-point range, had 15 of his points after the break. Pippen, who was also 4 of 8 behind the arc, had 16 points in the first half.
Disu had 10 rebounds to go with eight points as Vanderbilt had a 36-24 advantage on the boards, Pippen had nine assists and Evans five steals.
Iverson Molinar paced the Bulldogs (11-11, 5-8) with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting but his teammates were just 13 of 39 (33%).
Brown missed the first game in Nashville, when MSU had a 34-30 rebounding advantage and dominated the paint 42-18. This time, Vandy was plus-4 in the paint and also limited the Bulldogs to 2 of 4 from the foul line after they went 18 of 28 in the first meeting.
Mississippi State goes to Auburn on Tuesday. Vanderbilt is home against Kentucky on Wednesday night.
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