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Smith doubles down to lead Mississippi State past Vanderbilt 68-55

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Mississippi State got scoring from four players off the bench and beat Vanderbilt 68-55 on Saturday.

It's the third time this season Smith has reached 20 or more points. Smith's 27th career double-double leads all current active players in the SEC. The Bulldogs have won six of their last seven at home against Vanderbilt.

Reserve Josh Hubbard led Mississippi State's bench with 11 points and starter D.J. Jeffries scored 10. The Bulldogs' bench outscored Vanderbilt's 23-7.

Tyrin Lawrence led Vanderbilt with 16 points and Ven-Allen Lubin and Evan Taylor scored 11 points apiece for the Commodores.

Jimmy Bell Jr.'s dunk with 12:04 before halftime gave Mississippi State (13-5, 2-3) a 13-12 lead and the Bulldogs never trailed again. Bell's basket ignited a 13-0 run that ended with Josh Hubbard's 3-pointer five minutes later and Mississippi State led 24-12. Mississippi State led 36-21 at halftime and stayed up by double digits the entire second half.

Vanderbilt hosts No. 6 Tennessee on Jan. 27. Mississippi State faces Florida on the road Wednesday.

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