STARKVILLE, Miss. – Jeffery Taylor scored 25 points and John Jenkins added 21 as No. 19 Vanderbilt rallied for an 81-74 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday night.
The Commodores (15-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) won at Humphrey Coliseum for the first time since 1993, breaking a streak of eight straight losses in Starkville. Vanderbilt trailed by as many as nine points, but used a 12-0 run late in the second half to recover for its third straight victory.
Festus Ezeli added 14 points for Vanderbilt while Lance Goulbourne had nine points and 12 rebounds.
Vanderbilt led 77-74 with 20 seconds remaining when Taylor stole the ball in the press and dunked for the clinching basket. The 6-foot-7 junior was 9 of 18 from the field and had five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Jenkins made 9 of 9 free throws, including seven during Vanderbilt's crucial 12-0 run that turned a 66-59 deficit into a 71-66 lead.
Ravern Johnson scored 19 points and Dee Bost added 18 for the Bulldogs (10-9, 2-3), who shot 26 of 58 (44.8 percent) from the field. Mississippi State struggled from 3-point range, making just 8 of 29 (27.6 percent).
Renardo Sidney, MSU's best post player, battled foul trouble for most of the game. The 6-10, 275-pound sophomore finished with six points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes.
The Bulldogs used an 8-0 run to take a 61-53 lead with 11:06 remaining, but couldn't capitalize on the momentum, as Vanderbilt never let its deficit get bigger than nine points.
Mississippi State led 37-33 at halftime, holding Vanderbilt to 35.3 percent shooting. Bost and Johnson both scored 10 points in the first half, which offset Sidney's foul trouble.