81-66 was the final score Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. The Commodores (9-15, 3-8) were raining three’s down on the Bulldogs. Vandy ended the game 11 of 24 from the stripe (46%). This was somewhat surprising, being that Georgia has a really good defense. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked second in the SEC in both scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense. It was fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense (31%). This was a badly needed victory for the last place Commodores, who have lost seven of their last nine.
Vanderbilt scored the game’s first nine points on its way to a 39-31 halftime lead. Vanderbilt connected on all 16 of its foul shots and shot 55% from the floor. Jeff Roberson and Riley LaChance have carried much of the scoring load for the Commodores this season. This night was a little different, as five Commodores broke into double figures. LaChance scored 19 points. Freshman guard Saben Lee also had 19. Payton Willis added 13 points. Joe Toye and Roberson each contributed 12.
“I love it when we have four or five guys in double figures,” said Vandy head coach Bryce Drew.
Georgia (13-10, 4-7), who also just lost for the seventh time in nine games, their postseason hopes continue to dwindle. The Bulldogs never led in this contest. Georgia made a 9-0 run to narrow the deficit to 48-47 with about 13 minutes remaining in the game, but the black and gold would pull away from there.
“We had a terrible time defending tonight,” stated Bulldogs coach Mark Fox. “Our defense disappeared on us and Vanderbilt made us pay,” continued Fox.
Yante Maten led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Derek Ogbeide had 16. Juwan Parker put in 13.
Vanderbilt visits Arkansas this Saturday at Bud Walton Arena, where the Razorbacks are 12-1 this season. It’ll be another tough SEC showdown. Game time is 7:30 PM.