Final Score: Vanderbilt 64, Georgia 56. It was a tale of two halves for the Commodores. In the first, they shot 8-37. In the second, they hit nine three-pointers. John Jenkins exploded in the second half, scoring all 21 of his points in the final 14 minutes. The ‘Dogs led by as many as 14 in the second, but they let this game slip away in a big way. On fire for the first part of the second half, the Bulldogs went ice cold, managing just three points in the last 9:30 of the game. This loss won’t help the Bulldogs’ Tournament hopes, but it’s a huge road win for Vanderbilt, who now has sole possession of second place in the SEC East. A full recap of the game will follow soon. Thanks for reading, everyone.
Vanderbilt 60, UGA 56, 0:11 left in second half–Fans are heading for the exits as Jenkins hits two free throws. Another miss by the Bulldogs, and they have to foul. A technical foul is called on the Bulldogs, and fans are throwing things onto the court.
Vanderbilt 58, UGA 56, 0:21 left in second half–Vanderbilt gets a series of offensive rebounds but can’t cash them in. Leslie misses a shot at the other end, and the ball goes out of bounds to Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt 57, UGA 56, 1:32 left in second half–Timeout, Georgia. A truly remarkable turn of events. Jenkins hits a tough lay-up while being fouled to give Vanderbilt its first lead since the 15:43 mark of the first half. Thompkins gets to the line but makes just one of two. Price gets whistled for his fourth foul, and Ezeli makes one of two.
UGA 55, Vanderbilt 55, 3:26 left in second half–Jenkins just refuses to miss a shot. His fifth three-pointer of the second half ties the game up for the first time since the opening minutes. Georgia held a 14-point lead at the 14:13 mark of the half, but that has completely evaporated thanks to lights out shooting by the Commodores. The Bulldogs are taking much longer to get into their offensive setup. This one is going down to the wire.
UGA 53, Vanderbilt 52, 4:40 left in second half–Timeout, Georgia. The Bulldogs have led almost the entire game, but the lead is now down to one. Jenkins hits yet another three-pointer as the shot clock expires. Tinsley adds a three of his own, and Mark Fox has no choice but to try to rally his team.
UGA 53, Vanderbilt 46, 7:38 left in second half–Timeout, Georgia. John Jenkins is officially on fire after hitting his third three of the half with 8:43 to play to cut the Bulldog lead to seven. Ezeli continues to deny the Bulldogs access in the paint, bringing his block total to six. Neither team seems interested in paint penetration at the moment, though. Not when they’re hitting outside shots at this rate.
UGA 53, Vanderbilt 43, 9:30 left in second half–One of the craziest games in the SEC this year. All of a sudden, neither team can miss. Both have made five threes in the second half. Jenkins, who was scoreless in the first half, hit a three with 13:14 left to end an 11-0 Georgia run. Dustin Ware hits his fourth triple of the night, but that was quickly answered by Jeffery Taylor’s trey. Robinson, Odom, Leslie, and Jenkins all hit threes within a minute and six seconds after that.
UGA 37, Vanderbilt 26, 15:22 left in second half–Timeout, Vanderbilt. Stegeman comes alive as the Bulldogs score eight straight points. Price converts a three-point play off a nice feed from Leslie with 16:26 to go. Ware follows that up with his third three-pointer of the game. The Bulldogs finally get some points in transition as Robinson grabs a long rebound and takes it all the way for a lay-up.
UGA 27, Vanderbilt 21, Halftime–Brad Tinsley misses a three-pointer to end the half. Not a great game to watch if you’re a fan of good offense. The Commodores shoot 8-37 (21.6%), while the Bulldogs go 10-28 (35.7%). Vanderbilt gathered 13 offensive boards in the first half, which led, most of the time, to more misses. Gerald Robinson leads all scorers with 10 points. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt’s leading scorer at 19.8 points per game, has zero in this game. Tchiengang has six to lead the Commodores. Big man Festus Ezeli has been a force in the paint with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Not too many stoppages in play in the first half. Vanderbilt committed only two fouls, while the ‘Dogs were whistled just four times. Despite a high number of missed shots, both teams seemed content to play in the half court. Robinson’s two open buckets midway through the half are the only fastbreak points in the half. For the Commodores, the game plan is pretty simple when your top two scorers go 0-15: make shots. The Bulldogs must work harder to corral the rebounds on the defensive end and get out on the break to get easy points.
UGA 27, Vanderbilt 21, 1:00 left in first half–Timeout, Georgia. Both teams beginning to show some semblance of offensive production. Robinson converts a three-point play with 1:30 left, which was nullified by Rob Odom’s three-pointer one possession later.
UGA 21, Vanderbilt 16, 2:40 left in first half–Steve Tchiengang hits his second three-pointer of the evening with 3:26 left to bring the Commodores within five. Travis Leslie hit an open layup before that. He has four points; Robinson has 7 to lead the Dogs. Both teams going small with Price and Ezeli on the bench.
UGA 19, Vanderbilt 13, 5:47 left in first half–The Commodores are shooting an unsightly 5-27, but they have 11 offensive rebounds to keep the game close. Jeremy Price picks up his second foul with 8:50 left, and Mark Fox immediately sends in Chris Barnes. Thompkins hits a long two with 7:11 remaining in the half. He has five points. Both teams have only combined for six free throw attempts so far.
UGA 12, Vanderbilt 8, 11:43 left in first half–The shooting woes continue for Vanderbilt. They’ve gone just 3-15. But the Bulldogs’ own shooting troubles are keeping it close. Robinson scores four quick points on fast breaks.
UGA 8, Vanderbilt 3, 14:58 left in first half–Both teams have started with awful shooting. The first field goal of the game didn’t come until the 16:18 point, when Rod Odom hit an uncontested layup. Georgia was cold from long and short, getting swatted repeatedly by Festus Ezeli. Gerald Robinson and Trey Thompkins hit back-to-back threes to give the Bulldogs an early lead.
Starting Lineups: No surprises for Georgia. They begin with their usual five: Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson in the backcourt, Travis Leslie on the wing, and Trey Thompkins and Jeremy Price down low. Vanderbilt starts with a three-guard group of John Jenkins, Brad Tinsley, and Jeffery Taylor. Rod Odom and Festus Ezeli will be in the paint for the Commodores.
Hey, hoops fans. Ken Nasse here to blog the Bulldogs SEC contest against the 18th-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores at Stegeman Coliseum. Both teams enter tonight with 6-4 records in SEC play. Vanderbilt’s 18-6 overall record is one game better than Georgia’s. These teams met on January 12, with Vanderbilt getting the upper hand, 73-66. John Jenkins and Festus Elezi both scored 18 points in that game, overshadowing a 21-point, 13-rebound performance by Georgia’s Travis Leslie. The Bulldogs were ranked 24th at the time and have been out of the rankings since. With wins in their last three SEC games, the Bulldogs are in good form and will need this game to bolster their NCAA Tournament hopes. Vanderbilt is coming off a huge 81-77 win over Kentucky on Saturday. John Jenkins hit six three-pointers en route to a career-high 32 points. He’ll obviously be the focal point of Georgia’s defense tonight. The ‘Dogs, meanwhile, eked out a 60-56 road win at South Carolina on Saturday, led by leading scorer Trey Thompkins’ 16 points. Neither team shot well in their previous meeting. The Commodores shot 42%; the Bulldogs managed just 35%. Both squads will need a good performance tonight. Quality conference wins are crucial when the NCAA selection committee decides who will play in March Madness.