Cleaning the Glass: MTSU

Dec. 6, 2017

By Zac Ellis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt's latest matchup with an in-state opponent did not end in the Commodores' favor.

Despite leading by four points at halftime, the Commodores allowed Middle Tennessee to shoot 52 percent in the second half and rally for a 66-63 win at Memorial Gym on Wednesday.

Here's how it went down on West End:

THE SKINNY: Middle Tennessee was the aggressor in the opening moments, building a 15-8 lead on after a Nick King jumper at 13:43 in the first half. But Vanderbilt turned things around thanks to a spurt from senior Matthew Fisher-Davis. The guard scored 11 first-half points to lead the Dores to a 32-28 advantage at half. But Middle Tennessee wasn't finished, matching Vanderbilt's tenacity in the final 20 minutes and closing out a big win with hot shooting and free throws at Memorial Gym.

TURNING POINT: Vanderbilt trailed, 62-60, with under 90 seconds to play when Middle Tennessee advanced the ball down the court. With the Commodores in need of a stop, Blue Raiders guard Giddy Potts broke the hearts of a lively Memorial with a 3-pointer trey with 1:13 left. That shot deflated the Commodore crowd and ultimately kept Vanderbilt at bay the rest of the way.

IMPACT PLAYER: Giddy Potts. Nick King led all scorers with 23 points, but Potts was the difference-maker late in the game. Prior to his dagger of a three-ball with 1:13 to play, he sank a 3-pointer at the 5:01 mark to tie the game, 53-53, and halt Vanderbilt's momentum. Potts finished with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds.

STARTLING STAT: 52.2 -- Middle Tennessee's shooting percentage in the second half. After shooting just 36 percent in the first half and trailing Vanderbilt at the break, 32-28, the Blue Raiders turned things around in the final 20 minutes. They hit 12 of their 23 shots, all three of their 3-pointers in the game and 11-15 free throws after the break.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Commodores drop to 3-6 on the year and have now dropped two straight to Middle Tennessee.

WHAT’S NEXT: Vanderbilt hits the road for a matchup with Arizona State of the Pac-12 on Dec. 17. The Commodores and Sun Devils tip off at 1 p.m. CT on the Pac-12 Network.

Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.


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