STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Ravern Johnson scored 18 points to lead Mississippi State to a 73-66 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (13-5, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) led 32-27 at the half and took control of the game with a 14-3 run early in the second half.
"The second half, offensively, they made some tough shots," said Kevin Stallings, VU head coach, "and I thought there were times when we defended them really well and they still made them."
Vanderbilt (12-5, 1-2) pulled within six with 1:50 remaining, but never pulled closer.
Mississippi State shot 48 percent from the field and hit nine of its first 12 shots to open the second half.
"Vanderbilt is a team that can come from behind at any moment, so you can never be comfortable with a lead against them," Rick Stansbury, Mississippi State head coach, noted. "We were able to step up and hit some three's in the second half that got us on a roll."
The Commodores committed 17 turnovers, resulting into 19 points for Mississippi State.
Johnson was 6 of 12 from the field, including four 3-pointers.
Dee Bost added 16 points and six assists for the Bulldogs. Phil Turner chipped in 14 points.