Roberson's career highs keep Vanderbilt NCAA hopes alive

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jeff Roberson posted career highs with 23 points and five 3-pointers as Vanderbilt extended its longest winning streak of the season to four games with a 77-48 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

All of Roberson's 3-pointers came in the second half. The 6-foot-6 forward from Houston hit 7 of 12 from the floor and 5 of 6 from beyond the arc.

Vanderbilt (16-13, 9-7 Southeastern Conference) kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive, hitting 14 of 29 from 3-point range. The Commodores are the SEC's top 3-point shooting team.

Mississippi State (14-14, 5-11) suffered its sixth straight loss.

Luke Kornet added 10 points and eight rebounds for the surging Commodores, who won for the seventh time in nine games. Riley LaChance added 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Quinndary Weatherspoon led Mississippi State with 15 points, but he was the only Bulldog in double figures. Mississippi State shot just 30 percent from the field, making 14 of 47, and committed 17 turnovers. The Commodores outscored the Bulldogs 24-17 in points off turnovers.

Vanderbilt made a 15-0 run that stretched from the end of the first half to early in the second half, increasing the lead to 45-23. Mississippi State went nearly nine minutes without a field goal from late in the first half to 14:31 left in the game.

Vanderbilt made 50 percent of its shots from the field, including six 3-pointers, during the first 20 minutes to take a 37-23 halftime lead.

The Commodores outscored the Bulldogs 12-2 in the paint during the first 20 minutes and led most of the first half.

Mississippi State started three freshmen and one sophomore. The Bulldogs are the least experienced of the 351 Division I teams according to KenPom.com

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs began the day 12th in the 14-team SEC. Their postseason chances appear bleak.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores could boost their NCAA Tournament chances in in the last two regular-season games with both opponents ranked in the top 15. Vanderbilt started the day tied for sixth with Mississippi in the SEC.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State visits South Carolina on Tuesday before ending the regular season with a home game against LSU on Saturday.

Vanderbilt finishes the regular season against the top two teams in the SEC at No. 11 Kentucky on Tuesday before hosting No. 13 Florida on Saturday.

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