Vanderbilt at Mississippi State
7 pm
Feb 5, 2003
Starkville, Miss.
Projected Starters
Vanderbilt 10-8, 3-4
No Pos Name   Ht Wt Yr Pts Reb
35 F Matt Freije, 6-9 230 Jr 17.7 4.9
2 F Brian Thornton, 6-8 255 So 13.2 5.8
33 F Julian Terrell 6-9 225 Fr 3.9 3.9
3 G Jason Holwerda 6-5 210 So. 5.6 2.6
1 G Mario Moore 5-11 177 Fr 5.5 2.4*
Mississippi State 13-5, 3-4
15 G Tommy Bowers 6-2 180 Jr 14.8 3.7
44 F Michael Ignerski 6-10 225 Sr 10.2 5.6
22 G Derrick Zimmerman 6-3 195 Sr 9.3 4.8*
31 F/G Ontario Harper 6-5 210 So 7.1 5.8
33 F/C Mario Austin 6-9 260 Jr 16.8 8.2

Live Internet Broadcast | Complete Notes


Scouting Mississippi State
Mississippi State, ranked 23rd in the AP poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today poll, enters the game with an overall record of 13-5 and a 3-4 mark in the SEC after suffering a 67-63 loss Saturday at Georgia. After losing the season-opener to Louisiana-Lafayette, the Bulldogs won 10 straight games. MSU began the SEC season 0-3 and then followed that with three straight wins before losing at Georgia.

Juniors Mario Austin (16.8) and Timmy Bowers (14.8) are the teamís top scorers, while Austin is the squadís leading rebounder with 8.2 boards per contest. Senior Derrick Zimmerman is MSUís assist leader with 4.8 assists per game.

Vanderbilt leads the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 68-37, and trails just 26-22 in Starkville, Miss. The Commodores, who have lost the past two meetings between the schools, have lost three consecutive games to Mississippi State just once. Between the 1977-78 and 1978-79 season, Vanderbilt lost two games in Starkville sandwiched around a home loss for three straight.

Vanderbilt has climbed to No. 40 in the RPI rankings, which puts the Commodores seventh in the SEC...Vanderbilt is tied for the fifth-best SEC record at 3-4...Matt Freije is fourth in the SEC in scoring (17.7) and third in SEC games only (19.1)...Freije was featured on espn.com as part of the ďBig Man on CampusĒ poll that listed five players who had great performances in a game this past week...Vanderbilt is now 6-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 7-0 when the Commodores outrebound their opponent...Brian Thornton has scored 16 points in three of the past four games...VUís six blocks against Ole Miss was the teamís most in the past eight games...VU outrebounded Georgia and Ole Miss, earning the team its first back-to-back rebounding wins since the first two games of the season...Points in the paint: VU 34, UM 30...Points off turnovers: VU 12, UM 17...Second-chance points: VU 15, UM 13...Fast-break points: VU 10, UM 2.

Common Opponents
Vanderbilt and Mississippi State have played five common opponents with Vanderbilt owning a 4-1 record and MSU having a 2-3 record versus those teams.

Opponent VU MSU
Alabama A&M W, 68-40 W, 100-58
Alabama W, 70-69 L, 62-68 (2ot)
Florida L, 75-87 L, 66-74
Georgia W, 94-91 L, 63-67
Ole Miss W, 76-68 W, 58-57

Freije Earns Player of the Week Honors
Matt Freije was selected as the SEC Player of the Week after leading the Commodores to wins over No. 15 Georgia and Ole Miss this past week. Freije scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Vanderbiltís 94-91 win over Georgia. The junior forward led Vanderbilt to a 76-68 home victory over Ole Miss Saturday night. Freije scored a team-high 20 points, pulled down five rebounds and pocketed a careerhigh five steals.

This marks the second SEC Player of the Week honor for Freije. He was tabbed SEC Player of the Week last season on January 21, 2002 after scoring a then-career-high 29 points versus Auburn and helping VU to a road victory at South Carolina. This also marks the ninth time a Vanderbilt player has received this honor since the 1993-94 season.

Vanderbilt Looking to Extend Winning Streak
Vanderbiltís current two-game winning streak is the teamís first win streak since beating East Tennessee State (Dec. 4) and Tulane (Dec. 7) and the first win streak in the SEC since beating Tennessee (Feb. 23) and Kentucky (Feb. 27) last season. The Commodoresí three-game SEC winning streak last season (Auburn, at South Carolina, Georgia) was the teamís longest since the 1997-98 season.

Commodores Getting to Charity Stripe
Vanderbilt shot a combined 50-65 (.769) from the free-throw against Georgia and Ole Miss. The 50 made free throws in those two games is more than in any previous three-game stretch this season.

Commodores Top Scorers Against Georgia & Ole Miss
In back-to-back games, Vanderbilt put up the most points its opponent had surrendered all season. The 94 points VU scored against Georgia topped the previous high of 83 points that Georgia Tech and Gonzaga had scored against the Bulldogs.

The 94 points also was the highest Vanderbilt point total versus an SEC opponent since scoring 101 against Georgia March 1, 2000.

The Commodores then scored 76 points on Ole Miss, which topped the previous high of 69 that Evansville had scored against the Rebels. The 76 points also was the most Ole Miss had allowed in 13 games against SEC opponents.

Hundley Makes Most of Opportunity
With Corey Smith unavailable, Scott Hundley has been given more of an opportunity to help the Commodores and he has made his mark.

Playing a then-career-high 24 minutes versus Georgia, Hundley scored a then-season-high 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and pocketed a career-best four steals. He also had an 8-of-9 performance from the free-throw line. His 4-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe in the final 10 seconds of the game secured the Vanderbilt victory.

Hundley then turned in an even better effort against Ole Miss despite battling illness throughout the game. He scored a season-best 18 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, while playing a career-high 33 minutes. Again, he was solid at the charity stripe, making 8-of-10 free-throw attempts.

Vanderbilt Playing Nationís Sixth Toughest Schedule
As of Monday, CollegeRPI.com has Vanderbiltís schedule ranked as the sixth toughest in the nation. Only Georgia (1) and Arkansas (4) have tougher schedules in the SEC.

This season VU has played seven teams ranked in the Top-16 of the national polls, including Connecticut (12), Indiana (6), Notre Dame (6), Alabama (4), Kentucky (16), Florida (5) and Georgia (15).

Good as Gold
The Commodores are 4-0 this season when wearing gold uniforms. The team has three sets of uniforms ó white, gold and black. While white uniforms have been the standard home attire, Vanderbilt has earned home victories over Alabama A&M, College of Charleston, Georgia and Ole Miss in the gold uniforms.

Commodores Find Three-Point Stroke
After facing some inconsistency from three-point range during the early part of the season, the Commodores have rebounded from behind the arc. In the five games leading up to the Ole Miss contest, VU had made 51.9 percent (42-81) of its three-point shots and had not made less than eight treys in any of those five contests.

For the season, Vanderbilt is shooting 35.1 percent from threepoint range and is averaging 5.9 three-pointers per game.

Complete Notes



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
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615-322-GOLD (4653)