Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 32 points on Saturday, but that wasn’t enough to overcome Mississippi State in a 74-69 loss.
Both teams got off to a poor start shooting the ball, but Mississippi State went on an 8-0 run about midway through the first half to build a 15-7 lead. The Bulldogs held a lead until, somehow, a lineup with Drew Weikert, Gabe Dorsey, and Terren Frank on the floor simultaneously outscored Mississippi State 12-7 to get a 27-26 lead. From there, Pippen scored five points to give the Commodores a 32-30 lead going into halftime.
Things stayed tight for a while in the second half, but a 14-2 run by Mississippi State gave the Bulldogs a 57-46 lead with 8:41 to go, and it appeared that Vanderbilt might be about to cave. The Commodores did come back into the game late but could never quite catch Mississippi State, coming as close as 65-63 on two free throws by Quentin Millora-Brown with 2:17 to go but never pulling even. Vanderbilt had a chance to take the lead after a monitor review ruled that a questionable out of bounds call went off the Bulldogs’ Iverson Molinar, but in spite of getting two good looks from three, the Commodores couldn’t convert. Mississippi State hit its free throws in the final minute to win 74-69.
Pippen finished with 32 points on 10-of-16 from the floor, though he did have five turnovers. Two other players — Jordan Wright and Quentin Millora-Brown — finished with 10 points for Vanderbilt. State was led by 22 points from Tolu Smith off the bench, and 20 from Iverson Molinar. Vanderbilt drops to 14-14, 6-10 in the SEC, and has Florida next.