Vanderbilt pounds Georgia in second half, advances with 63-41 victory

The Georgia Bulldogs (15-17) underwent a personality shift during the halftime break of last night’s game against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The Georgia Bulldogs team that upended Mississippi State the previous night, and the same team that held a 25-24 lead on Vandy going into the intermission changed into a version of themselves from earlier in the season.

The ‘Dores came out of the break smoking, opening up a 36-27 advantage after going on a 12-2 run to start the second half.  During this run Georgia looked dazed on offense, making just 1 of 6 field goal attempts.

This slump was only the beginning of UGA’s offense woes during the second portion of this game.  Senior Dustin Ware hit a three-pointer to cut the Vandy lead to 36-32 with 14:39 left.  Unfortunately, the Bulldogs would go nearly 9 minutes before connecting on another field goal, which happened to be another jumper by Ware with 6:16 remaining.

At this point the game was all but over with Vandy holding a double-digit lead at 50-37.  During the Dawgs‘ aforementioned scoring drought (and then some), the Commodores went on a brutal 23-5 run that abruptly ended Georgia’s SEC tournament, allowing Vandy to walk away with a 63-41 second-round victory.

The two halves of last night’s game could not have been more different.

Georgia started the game spotting Vandy an 11-3 lead, only to respond with a run of their own that saw the Dawgs’ claim a 19-18 advantage following a John Florveous lay-in.

Coach Mark Fox had to play musical chairs with his lineup after starters Marcus Thornton, Donte Williams and Kentavious-Caldwell Pope picked up 2 first-half fouls.  The UGA bench – led by freshman John Cannon’s 6 points – played inspired basketball, pouring in a combined 17 points before the intermission and helping Georgia take a 25-24 lead into the half.

However, Georgia’s 45% shooting from the floor prior to the break was ruined by a second-half performance that saw the Dawgs make only 22% of their field goal attempts.  Conversely, the Vandy offense warmed up after the break, knocking down nearly 52% of their shots from the floor.

The Dawgs could not have been worse from the arc, connecting on just 2 of their 17 perimeter shots.

Senior Dustin Ware was the only Bulldog to reach double-figures at 10 points, but it took a 2 for 9 effort from three-point range for him to get to that total.

Georgia’s Gerald Robinson and KCP combined for just 5 points on 2 of 12 shooting from the floor, proving that this UGA team cannot be very competitive when its two leading scorers are completely shut down.

Vandy had four starters – John Jenkins, Brad Tinsley, Festus Ezeli and Lance Goulbourne – reach double-digit scoring, with Jenkins leading the way with a game-high 15 points.

Vanderbilt’s win was their third of the season over the Dawgs as well as their seventh-straight victory against UGA.  This group of Vandy seniors has clearly had Georgia’s number for some time now, and they really imposed their will in the second half of last night’s contest, outscoring the Dawgs by a tally of 39-16.

14 thoughts on “Vanderbilt pounds Georgia in second half, advances with 63-41 victory

  1. Freshman John Cannon was used incredibly sparingly this season, and I’m left wondering why…

    In the two games in which Cannon amassed more than 10 minutes – LSU and Vandy (last night) – he tallied up 10 points and 5 rebounds (in 25 minutes of play).


  2. I was wondering the same thing. He seemed comfortable and did not panic like most little used freshmen. In a season like this, you could make a case for looking ahead to next year. He might have helped this year since Thornton showed no improvement. I know he was hurt, but still… They looked great in the first half ,despite the stars having a rough night.


    1. I was impressed that he could execute a baseline drive and ball fake to draw that foul with the shot clock expiring. In fact, it looked so good I thought the announcers made a mistake when they called his name — I thought it was Djurisic at first. It’s either way too late or way too early to start this, but…….FREE JOHN CANNON.


  3. Excellent assessment as usual, hoop. Cannon was impressive in the first half. I am hopeful that a healthy Marcus will be more effective next year. Neme should be more consistent. His poor play and GR2’s ineffectiveness were the most startling points of the game to me. Both GR2 and Ware were in tears leaving the court. They gave their hearts to this team. I wish more UGA fans actually cared.


    1. I will definitely miss seeing GR2 and Ware in the Red & Black next season. I’m sorry to hear that they were so upset, but it’s nice to know as a fan that the players care that much. Best of luck to both those guys in the future.


      1. Even though his final game was not a great one, I still think GR2 is an all-league caliber player. Ware has been nothing but solid for 4 long years. I salute these guys who have truly earned the all-too-oftenly bestowed title as damn good dawgs.


        1. I really admire how Dustin Ware handled himself this year.Despite his shooting slump and being benched, he never showed an attitude or anger.Just kept playing hard and a was a great clutch player. Love to see him on the free throw line when it really counts. We will miss his coolness.


  4. There was a nice article in the Athens Banner Herald today about our three recruits all having championship pedigree and having learned how to win. C’mon big Tony, join the group of Ga homeboys and help this program to roar away from the station in 2012-13.


  5. The Dawgs looked really tired in the 2nd half of the game. It should not be lost that Vandy was fresh and we had a hard battle with Mississippi State the night prior. Did anyone else notice that Nemi could barely walk to the locker room at the half? I think his back gave him more troubles than the fans were aware of. I just hope that it’s not a lingering back issue with Nemi for the rest of his career. I will take a 15-17 record with the 15th hardest schedule in America (Out of 344 teams), and losing Trey and Leslie to the NBA prior to the season.


  6. Firstly fantastic writeup as always Hoop. Keep this thing going through the off season please! I need a place to get a weekly basketball fix.

    I am sad to see the season end, but hopeful for the direction of our program. If we give Fox time, he will get this thing built. Even without a big time recruit this year if we can keep our team together for two more years (AKA through Done’s senior year and KCP’s junior) then we should be looking at a pretty good group. Hopefully we crack the postseason next year and then make a run in the big dance the year after. I agree we need big name talent, but nobody does more developing the players he has than Fox. One or two big names mixed with a few 3 star sophomores and juniors and we will be able to play with anyone with him as our coach.


    1. I agree with you that Fox can develop. If Neme and Cannon can take strides from year one to year to similar to Donte’s, then Georgia should be in a much better position next year in the paint.


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