Mississippi State will attempt to buck history Saturday by winning at Vanderbilt in an SEC showdown. The No. 23 Bulldogs, who can strengthen their hold on a Top 25 ranking with a victory, haven't beaten the Commodores on the road since 2012 and are 9-47 in Nashville.
The Bulldogs head to Memorial Gym with momentum thanks to some late game-heroics by Quinndary Weatherspoon and Aric Holman in Tuesday's win over Florida. The duo combined for 10 points over the final three minutes, including a three-point play by Weatherspoon with four seconds remaining, as the Bulldogs erased a five-point deficit to avoid an 0-3 start in the SEC. "I just do whatever I can to help my team win," Weatherspoon, who has five game-winning shots in his career, told the media. "It doesn't matter what the time of the game is. Whether it's five minutes or the last few seconds, whatever I can do, I am going to try to do it." Freshman Aaron Nesmith scored a career-high 23 points, but the Commodores fell to 0-4 in the SEC for the first time with a loss to South Carolina.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network LINE: Check Intertops for the latest line
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (13-3, 1-2 SEC): With Weatherspoon bottled up and limited to nine points against Florida, Lamar Peters took the lead and once against proved deadly from 3-point territory. The junior, who is fifth in the SEC with 6.1 assists per game, made four treys and scored 16 points against the Gators, giving him 47 points and 11 triples in the past three games. Junior Tyson Carter also found the range from outside with four 3-pointers against Florida, helping to elevate the Bulldogs to second in the SEC in 3-point shooting at 38.9 percent.
ABOUT VANDERBILT (9-7, 0-4 SEC): After three dismal games, the Commodores did show some encouraging signs against South Carolina, including improved shooting from the field and the beyond the arc, but free throw shooting let them down in a 74-71 defeat. Bryce Drew's team missed 13 times from the line, including six attempts in the final 15 minutes as it failed to protect at 12-point advantage. Sophomore guard Saben Lee, who entered the game as a 72.7 percent free throw shooter, missed seven times against Florida but still managed to score 17 points.
1. The Commodores lead the SEC in foul shots made (296) and attempted (421) but are eighth in free throw percentage (70.3 percent).
2. Vanderbilt is 8-1 in its last nine home games against Mississippi State and enjoys a commanding 79-49 lead in the series that dates to 1922.
3. Weatherspoon (1,649 points) moved into sixth place on Mississippi State's all-time scoring list, passing Dee Bost (2009-12), and is four points shy of reaching the top five.
PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 76, Mississippi State 70 Bet Now
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