Glad that's out of their system. It is never enjoyable or encouraging to watch your team go from up 14 with 4 minutes remaining to up only 1 with under a minute. Every possible mistake the team could have made, it did. Coupling that with a capable opposing perimeter shooter (Barry Stewart scored 11 straight points) and you have a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, John Jenkins has a pair of stones the size of Sonny Liston's fists, and he used them to deliver the knockout blow with those two free throws he canned with six seconds left on the clock.
At the very least, had this near-epic collapse not happened in the safe confines of Memorial Gym, I probably don't make a joke about testicles. I'm hopeful that this really gives the team something to concentrate on over the next few days. Our second bulldog matchup of the week is your classic trap game, with Tennessee coming to town for an ESPN Super Tuesday matchup during "Rivalry Week." By the numbers, Vandy should win. Unfortunately as we've seen so far this season, Georgia really doesn't play according to the numbers. Probably because they don't understand math. (slight compliment veiled in standard vanderbilt academic elitism)
Speaking of numbers (amazing segue):
|Points Per Possession||1.03||0.98|
In my preview, I predicted that VU would win all "four factors." Vandy won eFG% and FTRate by wide margins. MSU edged Vandy in both OReb% and TO%, though I'm fairly certain that had the Commodores not made every mistake possible during the last four minutes then Vandy would have made the sweep.
Plus/Minus Adjusted Per 40 Minutes
Jermaine Beal has really come on strong over the last few games. It's clear our lone Senior is making his final push. His sense of urgency is carrying this team right now. Him maintaining his current level of play for the duration of his games in a Commodore uniform bodes well for our team as we come down the stretch of the regular season and enter tournament play. Seasoned point guards are so crucial to postseason success.
#20 Vanderbilt 75, Mississippi State 72. Vandy moved to 6-1 in the SEC East in its first game after losing to Kentucky last weekend, winning at home for the eleventh straight time this season. Mississippi State continues to have trouble shooting the ball — just 35% tonight — but they took 34 threes and made nine, which was enough to get the Bulldogs back in the game late after it appeared they were sunk. Vandy continues to impress us, with their balanced scoring attack and inherent homecourt advantage. Jermaine Beal (17/5) on the perimeter and AJ Ogilvy inside (16/7) are a tandem that works well together, and we’d expect the Dores to head into March as a #4 or #5 seed this year.
Kevin Stallings - 6th in eFG%