NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After sitting out a blowout loss for disciplinary reasons, Tyrin Lawrence returned to the Vanderbilt lineup Saturday and sparked the Commodores to a hard-fought, 74-71 win over Mississippi in a Southeastern Conference battle that featured 20 lead changes and nine ties.
Lawrence earned the ire of Vanderbilt Coach Jerry Stackhouse following a 72-66 loss to Texas A&M and was held out of a 101-44 loss to No. 4 Alabama, the program’s worst loss since 2003.
“I’m not a coach to hold grudges … ” Stackhouse was quoted following the Alabama loss. “But at the end of the day, this is a benevolent dictatorship. You got to do it my way. You got to do it this way.”
Lawrence played 37 minutes in his return and scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. He scored eight points in Vanderbilt’s closing push that saw it take its biggest lead of the game, 72-61 after Myles Stute air balled a wide open 3-point attempt. Lawrence gathered the rebound and fired a pass to a still wide-open Stute, who this time buried the 3 with 57 seconds left.
Liam Roberts, sporting a black eye left over from the Alabama game, led the Commodores (11-12, 4-6 SEC) with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Quentin Millora-Brown added 10 points.
Ole Miss (9-14, 1-9) got 15 points and 12 rebounds from Jaemyn Brakefield and Myles Burns contributed 12 points and grabbed eight boards.
Vanderbilt plays host to No. 2 Tennessee Wednesday. Mississippi travels to play Georgia Tuesday.