NASHVILLE – Craig Sword came into Saturday’s contest averaging 13.9 points and was Mississippi State’s top scorer.
However, the sophomore shooting guard did not get into the scoring column until the 11:18 mark of the second half and was limited to just four points by Vanderbilt.
“First and foremost, he’s No. 1 on the scouting report,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “That means that you don’t foul him and take away his driving lanes. I think people are doing that and now he’s got to find a way to score in some other ways when he doesn’t have wide-open opportunities.”
Sword shot just 2 of 10 from the field and did not go to the free throw line at all.
Road woes continue
The Bulldogs’ road struggles continued Saturday losing its fifth away game of the season.
The loss stretched State’s losing skid on the road to 13 games. The Bulldogs have not won on the road since defeating Georgia 72-61 on Jan. 12, 2013 which was also Ray’s initial Southeastern Conference contest.
Mississippi State was charged with just two fouls in the first half and 13 for the game.
The Commodores were whistled for eight fouls in the contest. Both teams combined to shoot just 18 free throws.
“This was a big loss for us. We could’ve had this game. It was within our reach but we had 18 turnovers. We did a lot of things that we shouldn’t have done that wasn’t Mississippi State basketball.” – MSU senior forward Colin Borchert