Georgia basketball: What went right and wrong in the Bulldogs’ dramatic win over Vanderbilt

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ATHENS, GA – FEBRUARY 19: Anthony Edwards #5 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

What went right

How did Georgia win? Almost everything went wrong through the first 39 minutes of the game. The Bulldogs only lead twice and never by more than two points until the clutch shot at the end by Crump.

Anthony Edwards scored a lot

Vanderbilt plays better defense than what its record suggests and the Commodores really excel at shutting down a team’s leading scorer. But Anthony Edwards didn’t let that happen. The freshman scored 19 points in the game, including making a few contested shots when Georgia needed them the most.

Vanderbilt finally shut down the star by keeping him from scoring in the last 11 minutes, but five different Bulldogs found the net during those 11 minutes. He may not have scored after his 19th point, but clearly, he still made an impact on offense.

Performing in “winning time”

For the second-straight game, Georgia got it done when it mattered most. Saturday, that meant feeding off Vanderbilt’s missed free throws to make big plays on the other end.

After Vanderbilt made two free throws to extend its lead to 78-73 with 22 seconds left, Sahvir Wheeler rushed down court passed lazy defenders to make an easy layup, cutting the score to 78-75. Georgia took a timeout and exited the break with a beautiful trap in the corner, forcing Vanderbilt to waste a timeout of its own with 13 seconds remaining.

Edwards fouled Vanderbilt instantly after an inbounds pass sending Saban Lee to the line. Lee scored 34 points in the game, so this is exactly who the Commodores wanted. Then he missed his shot, Vanderbilt grabbed the rebound, but a travelling violation gave the ball back to Georgia. Wheeler drove the lane again, drew a foul and made his free throws to trim the lead to 78-77 with six seconds remaining.

Edwards had to foul again, ending his game and sending Scotty Pippen Jr. to the line. Pippen missed both shots and after quick scramble for the loose ball, Tyree Crump grabbed it, ran towards the goal and put up a perfect shot with just one second on the clock. Sometimes, you just need to win the last 16 seconds of a game to come out on top.

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