The Vanderbilt Commodores got off to a rough start on Saturday in Oxford, as the Ole Miss Rebels promptly jumped out to a 10-1 lead and forced Jerry Stackhouse into calling a rare timeout. But Vanderbilt quickly got back into the game, swishing four threes in a row to tie the game at 13 before a steal led to a Jordan Wright breakaway to give the Commodores their first lead of the game.
But Vanderbilt’s size — or, rather, lack thereof — quickly became an issue, an issue further exacerbated by Dylan Disu picking up two early fouls and heading to the bench. That left little-used freshman Oton Jankovic and 6’5” walk-on Braelee Albert to deal with the Rebels’ 6’10” Khadim Sy, who scored 10 points in the game’s first fourteen minutes. A Maxwell Evans three cut the Ole Miss lead to 24-22, but then Ole Miss went on a 16-2 run to extend its lead out to sixteen points — much of which came with Stackhouse trying to steal a breather for Saben Lee, who missed seven of his first eight shots. The halftime score was 43-27 Ole Miss, with Pippen scoring eleven points in the first frame and the rest of the team shooting 6-of-23 from the floor.
With that kind of halftime deficit, Vanderbilt needed a quick start to the second half and didn’t get it. The Commodores started going inside for easy buckets from Dylan Disu and Ejike Obinna — both quiet in the first half — but the problem was getting stops at the other end, such that Ole Miss actually extended its lead to 57-39 at the first media timeout of the second half.
The final score was 86-60 in the Rebels’ favor, with Vanderbilt never really mounting much of a threat in the second half. Vanderbilt shot 36 percent from the floor for the game; Ejike Obinna led the Commodores with 13 points. Vanderbilt will be in action next on Tuesday night at Alabama.