Vanderbilt’s Kevin Bright hit a baseline jumper with just 0.8 seconds remaining to cap off a 17-point comeback, beating Georgia 63-62 Wednesday night at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tennessee.
Georgia (13-15, 7-8) was led by sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 20 points and 14 rebounds—his fifth double-double of the season.
“It was a difficult loss,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We were in position to win the game and that was just a terrible break for Kentavious to have that ball go out of bounds because he knows he’s going to get fouled and go to the line and then we’re in really good shape, and that’s just a terrible break for him. Give Vanderbilt’s Kevin Bright credit for hitting that shot at the end.
“I thought our defense was good. They missed some shots, but our defense was really good in the first half and we were so poised offensively. I thought we played pretty disciplined basketball in the first half. Their defense was much better in the second half and you have to give them credit for that.”
After Georgia led by as many 17 points early in the second half, Vanderbilt (12-15, 6-9) went on a 16-0 run, capitalizing on six straight empty possessions from Georgia, to take a 52-47 lead with five minutes left. Caldwell-Pope responded with six points in the final three minutes to tie the game at 60-60. After taking a late 62-61 lead, a Georgia turnover gave the ball back to the Commodores, who capitalized, hitting the game-winning shot with under a second left.
Georgia dominated the first half, taking a 34-22 point lead into the halftime break, largely behind Caldwell-Pope’s 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs dominated the glass in the first frame, out rebounding the Commodores 23-to-9. On defense, Georgia held Vanderbilt to just 25 percent shooting in the first half.
In the second half, Vanderbilt out rebounded Georgia, and shot nearly 50 percent from the field. They were led by Kedren Johnson who scored 17 points.
Georgia returns to action against Tennessee on Saturday in Athens. The game will tip-off at 1:45 p.m. and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.
• The starting line-up was Caldwell-Pope, D. Williams, V. Williams, Morris and Florveus. They’re now 6-4.
• With his 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first half (20 points, 14 rebounds in the game), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope picked up his fifth double-double of the season.
• Caldwell-Pope remains one of just 11 players in all of NCAA Division I that have scored in double figures in each of their team’s games. He’s the only SEC player to accomplish this feat and one of just five from the “BCS” leagues to do so.
• Georgia is now 0-5 in games decided by four points or less, and 1-7 when Caldwell-Pope is the only double-figure scorer.
• Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a career-high 14 rebounds (previously 13 vs. Ga. Tech in 2012). His 14 rebounds are the most of any Bulldog in a game this season.
The Series: Vanderbilt improves to 87-49 in the all-time series, including 52-13 in Nashville. The Commodores have won seven straight in the series.
Next Up: Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum to face Tennessee on Saturday. Georgia trails in the all-time series against the Volunteers 92-57, but leads when the series is played in Athens, 38-30. The Bulldogs won at Tennessee earlier this month 68-62—the last loss for Tennessee. Georgia will be going for its first season sweep of Tennessee since the 2000-01 season.
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