NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kent State got a big road win and Vanderbilt got something big to worry about.

Vanderbilt star Darius Garland left early with an injury and Jaylin Walker scored 22 points in his first game of the season after returning from a suspension as Kent State handed the Commodores their first loss, 77-75 on Friday.

Jalen Avery and C.J. Williamson each scored 18 points for Kent State (5-1), which made 12 of 24 shots from 3-point range.

"Coming from a mid-major conference we keep a chip on our shoulder," said Avery. "Growing up, these are the type of teams we wanted to play for. We wanted to go to an SEC-type of school and when you get the opportunity to come to these type of schools you want to win."

Walker and Avery each made four 3-pointers.

Garland, Vanderbilt's point guard who entered the game as the Southeastern Conference's third-leading scorer (19.8 points per game), left with a left knee injury two minutes into the first half.

The Commodores cut the deficit to one twice in the final 8:43 but couldn't catch the Golden Flashes.

"For our guys this is a really good win," Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said. "I have two seniors [Avery and Walker] who have been through a lot of battles together and I thought today their experience and leadership shined through."

Kent State had nine 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 41-34 halftime lead.