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Vanderbilt beats down MTSU, 79-51

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Amazing what happens when the shots are falling.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After an awful shooting performance against NC State on Saturday, Vanderbilt needed to see some shots fall.

That happened in a big way on Wednesday night. The Commodores shot 9-of-21 from three and made their first 17 free throws in a 79-51 beat down of Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders came into Memorial Gym having won two straight against the Commodores — 71-48 in Murfreesboro two years ago, and 66-63 at Memorial Gym last season — but it wasn’t happening on Wednesday night as Vanderbilt played lockdown defense and looked much less disjointed on the offensive end.

The two teams got off to a slow start; Middle led 3-2 at the first media timeout with under 16 minutes left in the first half. But then, Matthew Moyer sparked the offense with an off-balance three with the shot clock running out, and Vanderbilt was off to the races. The Commodores held Middle without a point for six minutes in the first half and raced out to a 42-21 halftime lead, never allowing the Blue Raiders within striking distance in the second half.

Simi Shittu led Vanderbilt with 15 points and six rebounds, while Matthew Moyer scored 14.