Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders' Raymond Cintron, right, drives as he's defended by Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - 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 December 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.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)