We’ve officially reached the “fuck it, we’ll do it live” portion of the season.
As usual, Stackhouse fiddled with the rotation for reasons that we’ve never figured out and we’re probably never going to figure out, but Jason Rivera-Torres did get his first career start — and also became the 13th player to start a game for Vanderbilt this season. And Evan Taylor, also starting for the first time in a while, gave Vanderbilt a 3-0 lead to start the game.
Then walk-on Graham Calton, who’d played 16 minutes all season and hadn’t played at all since the Dartmouth game on December 30, entered the game, and possibly coincidentally Vanderbilt’s offense went ice cold. Tyrin Lawrence scored to put Vanderbilt up 12-10 with 12:54 left in the first half, and Vanderbilt would not score again for over six minutes.
The Commodores managed to keep the game somewhat within reach for most of this stretch, of course, because the theme of the game was that Mississippi State was also playing bad basketball. The Bulldogs led 36-21 at halftime and Vanderbilt would not get the game within single digits during the second half — though it never truly got out of hand, either. (Also a common theme this season.)
The final score was 68-55, with Vanderbilt shooting 37.7 percent from the floor and 5-of-22 from three. Tyrin Lawrence led the Commodores with 16 points; Ven-Allen Lubin and Evan Taylor each had 11 points. The Commodores are now 5-13, 0-5 in the SEC, and are off until next Saturday when they host Tennessee.