I arrived for the second half of the South Carolina-Auburn game to open the SEC Tournament here in Atlanta. This is my first SEC Tournament to cover since Mississippi State won it in Tampa in 2009. I will say it was pretty cool to see Charles Barkley here for the early game. Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy is sitting behind me scouting this game because the Rebels will get the winners tomorrow night. Tonight’s game is slated for an 8:35 p.m. CT tipoff on SEC-TV.
No. 11 Vanderbilt (15-15, 7-11)
0- Rod Odom, F, 6-9, 212, Sr.
3- Luke Kornet, F, 7-0, 216, Fr.
14- Carter Josephs, G, 6-0, 185, So.
24- Dai-Jon Parker, G, 6-3, 190, Jr.
30- Damian Jones, C, 6-10, 235, Fr.
No. 14 Mississippi State (13-18, 3-15)
4- Trivante Bloodman, G, 6-0, 182, Jr.
15- I.J. Ready, G, 5-11, 170, Fr.
20- Gavin Ware, F, 6-9, 268, So.
25- Roquez Johnson, F, 6-7, 210, Jr.
32- Craig Sword, G, 6-3, 194, So.
The Bulldogs will be wearing maroon while the Commodores are clad in white.
Parker hits an early 3-pointer to give Vandy a 1-point lead.
Parker hits another putting Vandy up by two.
Thomas hits a 3-pointer giving the Bulldogs a six-point lead.
15:02 1st 14-10 MSU Parker 6 points
Bulldogs have started the game 6 of 6 from the field.
Colin Borchert misses the Bulldogs first two shots of the night.
Nice pump fake inside by Ware. Draws the harm and the basket but misses the free throw.
Nice feed from Bloodman to Borchert inside for the reverse lay-in.
Sword buries a rare 3-pointer putting MSU up by five.
10:53 21-16 MSU Parker 8 points
Bulldogs are 9 of 11 from the field so far.
A dunk from Sword puts MSU up by seven.
6:53 27-22 MSU Parker 12 points
I see the Vandy mascot is still using Just For Men.
Bulldogs playing their best basketball in quite some time here in the first half so far.
Thomas rips another 3-pointer putting State up by eight.
Bulldogs force a shot clock violation and the bench erupts.
Thomas knocks down his third 3-pointer pushing the lead out to nine.
3:27 36-27 MSU Parker 12, Jones 12
Bulldogs not named Borchert are still shooting 100-percent from the field.
1:43 36-30 MSU Parker 12, Jones 12
HALFTIME: MISSISSIPPI STATE 36, VANDERBILT 31
Erick Dampier being honored here at halftime.
FG% MSU 60.9, VU 48
3PT% MSU 50, VU 25
FT% MSU 66.7, VU 55.6
Rebounds: MSU 13, VU 12
Turnovers: MSU 6, VU 6
Pts off TO’s: MSU 4, VU 4
Paint Pts: MSU 14, VU 16
2nd Chance: MSU 0, VU 3
Fast Break: MSU 2, VU 0
Bench: MSU 4, VU 3
Individual Scoring: MSU – Craig Sword 10, Fred Thomas 9, Gavin Ware 7, Roquez Johnson 4, I.J. Ready 2, Colin Borchert 2, Trivante Bloodman 2; VU – Damian Jones 12, Dai-Jon Parker 12, Rod Odom 4, James Siakam 3
Ready, Sword, Johnson, Ware and Thomas start the second half.
Johnson is very active to start the second half on both ends of the floor.
Slick lay-up by Ready gives MSU its largest lead of the game at 11.
16:45 44-31 MSU Jones 12, Parker 12
15:42 46-31 MSU Jones 12, Parker 12
Bulldogs on a 10-0 run to start the second half. Johnson has six of those points.
Vandy gets a free throw scoring its first basket of the 2nd half with 15:42 on the clock.
Commodores hit a couple of 3’s to pull within 12.
13:50 50-38 MSU Johnson 12, Sword 12, Parker 12, Jones 12
Kornet hits another 3 and MSU’s lead is trimmed to six.
Johnson gets tied up under the basket and takes a spill. He smiled while on the ground but got up limping.
10:54 52-44 MSU Parker 15 points
Auburn has fired Tony Barbee. That didn’t take long.
8:23 55-46 MSU Sword 15, Parker 15
7:44 55-46 MSU Sword 15, Parker 15
Borchert rattles home a 3-pointer putting MSU up by 14.
3:22 68-52 MSU Sword 19 points
2:19 72-59 MSU Sword 20 points
ESPN reporting Rick Stansbury is interested in the Auburn job.
FINAL: MISSISSIPPI STATE 82, VANDERBILT 68