The Georgia Bulldogs reversed their performance in a 46-point loss to Tennessee by securing the team’s first SEC win of the season.
The Bulldogs and the Commodores kept the game tight throughout the first 20 minutes, but Georgia pulled away late in the second half to secure an 82-63 win over Vanderbilt.
The teams playing evenly in the first half, with Georgia leading 34-33 at the intermission. Vanderbilt still trailed by one with 9:58 remaining in the game, 56-55, when the Bulldogs went on a tear, out-scoring the Commodores 26-8 the rest of the way.
For the game, sophomore Rayshaun Hammonds led the Bulldogs with 19 points, and Derek Ogbeide scored 15.
Georgia showed early its capabilities to rebound both its own missed shots and Vanderbilt’s in the first half, while also capitalizing on those moments with points. Sophomore Nicolas Claxton led the Bulldogs with nine rebounds in the half, 12 in the game.
As the game continued, the offensive rebounds dropped off. Georgia finished with 17 defensive rebounds and seven offensive rebounds to total for 24 rebounds in the first half. It was a similar story in the second half, with defensive rebounds more prominent than offensive. Georgia finished with 14 defensive and five offensive rebounds.
The Commodores’ fouls throughout the first half allowed the Bulldogs to enter the double bonus, yet Georgia was not able to capitalize off the opportunities as much as it could have. The Bulldogs made eight of their 13 free throws. The foul discrepancy continued in the second half for Vanderbilt, leading to a technical foul on coach Bryce Drew, and Georgia capitalized on the opportunity with two made free throws by Hammonds.
A flagrant foul was called on Vanderbilt’s Joe Toye with about nine minutes left in the first half. Claxton took and missed both shots, but responded with a jumper to put Georgia down by two, 24-22.
In the final two minutes of the half, the Bulldogs regained the lead by two points, 33-31. A 3-pointer, a free throw from Claxton and a pair free throws by Vanderbilt’s Saben Lee ended the first half with Georgia in the lead over Vanderbilt 34-33.
The score stayed tight throughout the beginning of the second half until Georgia started to pull ahead with six points with 15 minutes left in the game. Georgia then led by 12 points, but Vanderbilt answered and closed it back to one point with less than 10 minutes. Two consecutive 3-pointers re-surged Georgia’s lead back to seven and eventually returned to 19 points.
The Bulldogs didn’t relinquish their lead, and gave up six points in the last four minutes.