MBB: Vandy Bests Georgia 85-77

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MBB: Vandy Bests Georgia 85-77

The University of Georgia Men’s Basketball team was defeated by the Vanderbilt Commodores 85-77 on Saturday night in Nashville.

The SEC’s second-leading scorer Scotty Pippen Jr. topped all scorers with 23 points for Vanderbilt while also recording a game-high 9 assists. Aaron Cook dropped 18 points to lead the Dawgs in scoring for the second straight contest. Kario Oquendo and Noah Baumann each added 15 points, while Braelen Bridges put up 14 on 7-8 shooting. Baumann led all rebounders with 9 boards.





Oquendo led all scorers with 15 first-half points behind a 4-5 field goal shooting performance and conversions on all 7 of his free-throw attempts before leaving the game with an injury with 14:51 left to play. Georgia’s leading scorer caught an errant elbow to the face following a Vanderbilt layup which sidelined him for the remainder of the game.

Georgia, now the SEC’s leader in team free-throw percentage at 74.5%, continued their efficiency from the charity stripe on Saturday, going 17-21 from the line. While the 81% effort is highly commendable, their decided advantage in terms of sheer volume which they enjoyed during their last 2 outings was not as significant of a factor against the Commodores, who maintained a foul advantage relative to Georgia for most of the second half.

Vanderbilt’s main edge over the Dawgs on Saturday, however, came from beyond the 3-Point line, as the Commodores, who ranked 10th in the conference in 3-Point percentage at just under 31%, shot 52% from long range for the game and went 7-11 in the first half to help build a 10-point halftime lead. 7 different Commodores connected from deep compared to just two (Noah Baumann and Aaron Cook) for the Bulldogs.





In a post-game press conference, Head Coach Tom Crean’s articulated that his primary initial takeaway from Saturday’s loss was a general lack of defensive aggressiveness, saying that “we have to be more active… [Vanderbilt} just got too comfortable and they made open shots, and that gave them confidence throughout the game.” Given that the Bulldogs boasted a dominant 44-24 advantage in points in the paint, it seems as though the shooting comfort to which Crean alluded was a key factor in deciding the game’s eventual outcome.

The loss to Vandy brings the Dawgs to 6-15 on the year and 1-7 in SEC play as they prepare for a huge upcoming week in hosting two of the conference’s top 3 teams. Georgia will face Arkansas at home on Wednesday, February 2nd before the #1 ranked Auburn Tigers travel to Athens on Saturday, February 5th.





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