The Vanderbilt Commodores pushed the No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs to overtime, but were ultimately undone by some poor shot selection and quality defense by their opposition as Mississippi State held on for a crucial road victory, winning by a final score of 78-77. The Bulldogs had lost twice previously on the road in SEC competition, and were in serious need of this win after losing earlier in the week to rivals Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt went into halftime up by 11 points, but were already trailing less than three minutes into the first half after a great run by Mississippi State. Between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, they put together an incredible 16-0 run. Their lead would get as large as seven, but the second half was, for the most part, a back and forth battle. Arnett Moultrie put the Bulldogs up 68-62 with just under two minutes remaining, but two clutch three-point shots by the Commodores forced overtime.
The overtime period was also a back and forth affair, with Dee Bost scoring what would ultimately be the game-winning basket with almost a minute remaining. Vanderbilt subsequently had a poor possession resulting in a missed basket, then fouled Bost, who missed the front end of the one-and-one. Vanderbilt then had another poor possession and fouled Moultrie, who also missed the front end, giving Vanderbilt a third shot to find a winning basket. With just three seconds to find a shot, John Jenkins got a decent look, but missed Vanderbilt's third attempt at a winning bucket in overtime.
For more on the two teams, check out Mississippi State Bulldogs blog For Whom The Cowbell Tolls and Vanderbilt Commodores blog Anchor Of Gold.