NASHVILLE, Tenn. — John Jenkins scored seven of his 26 points in the final 4:34, and Vanderbilt held off Middle Tennessee 84-77 Saturday for its 10th win in 11 games.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings scheduled this game to take advantage of a break in the Southeastern Conference schedule, and his timing couldn't have been worse with Middle Tennessee coming in having won 12 straight.
The Commodores (16-5) handed Middle Tennessee (20-3) its first loss since Dec. 7. They outrebounded the Blue Raiders 28-22 and hit 24 free throws in 30 attempts to Middle Tennessee's 16 of 22.
Festus Ezeli scored a season-high 21 points and sank a career-best 11 free throws for Vanderbilt. Jeffery Taylor added 17 points and Lance Goulbourne had 11.
LaRon Dendy led Middle Tennessee with a career-high 22 points. JT Sulton had 12 points before fouling out, and Bruce Massey and Marcos Knight each had 10.