The only thing more depressing than the weather outside today was Georgia’s second-half offense against the Vanderbilt Commodores today in Athens.
The Bulldogs(12-14; 3-9) played very solid defense in the first half, holding Vanderbilt to under 29% from the floor and forcing 6 steals. Georgia took a 29-28 lead into the break despite not having Kentavious-Caldwell Pope’s services for nearly 16 minutes due to early foul trouble.
The problem, however, was that the Dawgs only held a one-point advantage over the Commodores at the intermission. Even though Vandy was ice-cold in the first half, Georgia was unable to add to their lead and give themselves a bit of a cushion heading into the second half.
KCP returned to action after the break though, capping off a 7-0 UGA run with a jumper that put the Dawgs up 40-35 with 13:38 left in the game.
Then John Jenkins happened.
The junior guard scored 8 points over the next 5 minutes, spearheading a 15-0 Vanderbilt run. On a personal side note, I’ve never witnessed a 15-0 run live and let me tell you it is not fun to observe when the team you are cheering for has the “0”.
Georgia played their part during this Commodore run, missing 8 consecutive shots and turning the ball over twice. After the smoke cleared, Vandy was up 50-40 with under 8 minutes remaining. The Dawgs’ Gerald Robinson finally broke the UGA drought by scoring consecutive baskets to bring Georgia within 6 points.
Then John Jenkins happened again.
This time the Vandy guard knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to put his team up 56-44, crushing any hopes of a possible Georgia comeback.
Jenkins finished the game with 28 points on 6 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc, and his Commodore team walked out of Stegeman with the 61-52 victory.
Other than Gerald Robinson, who led all Bulldog scorers with 19 points, no other Georgia players cracked double-digits. KCP and Dustin Ware finished with 6 and 7 points, respectively, and they combined to make just 5 of their 23 shots from the floor.
The Dawgs put on one of the worst three-point shooting displays today that I can remember in some time, hitting only 3 of 23 attempts, or 13%. Georgia’s scored just 23 points after the intermission, largely in part due to a 1 for 17 shooting performance from beyond the arc.
At this point, it’s beginning to look as though the only post-season Georgia can expect to look forward to is the off-season.
The Dawgs followed up their most successful week of the season (which seems like ages ago now) – wins over Arkansas and Mississippi State – with consecutive SEC losses to South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Next week appears as though it could produce similar results as this one – Georgia hits the road Wednesday to play LSU (who beat SC in Columbia yesterday) before returning home Saturday to host the #12 Florida Gators.
Kudos to any fans out there that made the trip to Stegeman for the game today. I was extremely disappointed in the turnout from the UGA student section, which appeared to be only about 15% full.
The highlight of the day for me was the El Sandwich Cubano I had from Cali & Tito’s prior to the game.