The keys to UGA’s win over Vanderbilt

Just a few days removed from a crushing overtime defeat at the hands of the Florida Gators, the Georgia Bulldogs (12-6, 4-2) collected themselves and managed to bounce back at home on Tuesday night against the Vanderbilt Commodores (8-10, 2-4).  Here are the keys that propelled UGA to the 76-68 home win:

Unselfish, efficient offense

Vanderbilt attempted to zone the Dawgs early in this game and UGA ate it up.  Georgia did an excellent job of getting the ball into the short corners and finding gaps in the zone.  When UGA players penetrated and drew extra defenders, the Dawgs opted to pass instead of forcing up highly-contested shots.  Georgia dished out 16 team assists, which marks their highest total yet in SEC play.  UGA shot over 45% from the floor, and the Dawgs had four starters finish in double-figures – Yante Maten and Juwan Parker led the way with 21 and 17, respectively.  The Bulldogs also knocked down 40% from beyond the arc, and the majority of those three-pointers came on kick out passes from the paint.  Lastly, UGA valued the basketball, turning it over just 6 times on Tuesday, which is a drastic improvement for a Georgia team that entered this contest average 16 turnovers per conference game.

Solid first half perimeter defense

Vanderbilt gets 40% of its offense from beyond the arc.  The Dores came into Athens making over 40% of its three-point shots in SEC play.  However, UGA held Vandy to just 1 of 9 from the perimeter in the first half, which enabled Georgia to take a 34-25 advantage into the break.  Coach Mark Fox had his team in a lot of match up zone, and the Dawgs’ defenders closed out and contested nearly every Commodore three-point attempt.  The second half was a different story though, as Vandy found its range and connected on 9 of 22 shots from beyond the arc.  The Dores ended up with 10 three’s, which is just below their 10.8 average in SEC games, but they only made 34% of them.  The Dawgs’ ability to contain Vanderbilt from the perimeter in this contest’s first twenty minutes proved crucial, and it may have been the difference in the game.


Vanderbilt, who only led for 1:35 of this game, had three opportunities to overtake the Dawgs last night.  However, each time the Dores closed the gap, Georgia found a way to respond.  After building up a 14-5 lead with a little over 13 minutes left in the half, UGA’s offense took a breather and scored just 2 points over the next six minutes.  With 7:33 remaining before the break and Vandy trailing 16-11, Yante Maten buried a big three-pointer from the top of the key to extend the UGA lead.

Vandy opened up the second half with a flurry of three-pointers, and after Jeff Roberson hit one from beyond the arc the UGA advantage had been cut to 42-39 with a little over 15 minutes left in the game.  The Dawgs answered, though, as J.J. Frazier and Juwan Parker hit back to back three’s, and Jordan Harris stole a lazy Vandy pass and took it the length of the floor for an electrifying one-handed dunk, putting Georgia up 50-41.

The Dores last effort to catch the Dawgs came late in the game when Riley Lachance sunk a three to trim the UGA lead to 65-60 with 2:17 remaining.  Once again, Coach Fox’s team responded to the pressure, getting the ball into the hands of Yante Maten, who was fouled and made both free throws.  On the ensuing possession, Parker got a steal and was immediately sent to the line, where he too hit both attempts.  With just 1:25 left, UGA had a 69-60 lead that Vandy would not surmount.



12 thoughts on “The keys to UGA’s win over Vanderbilt

  1. Juwan Parker is becoming the 3rd scorer we lave lacked all season! Where was he in Dec.? We could have used him against Marquette! Obiede is making progress also! His one and done stretch appears to be growing rapidly!


    1. Parker has had to deal with an Achilles injury the past 2 seasons and received a red shirt last season. It has just taken some time for him to get fully adjusted after so much time off and recovering from the injury. His continued progress is huge for this team.


      1. I thought he looked pretty good early in the season, but for the fact that his shot wasn’t falling. They always seemed like good shots (although the 3 is a stretch for him). He’s been hitting the boards and being generally active on the court all season, and it’s great to see his efforts being recognized.


  2. Nice game by the Hoop Dawgs. They could have gone in the tank after the heartbreaking OT loss to the Gators. This was probably Parker’s best game, Maten had a great offensive game and I liked the way that JJ played within the flow of the game and did not force it.

    We need to carry this momentum into a 4 game winning streak. The next 3 games: @ A&M, v Bama, v Texas will be huge for our tourney chances.


  3. Despite a huge disparity from the FT line, we couldn’t distance ourselves from Vandy. It’s very difficult for us to put anyone away (even Morehouse) because we lack the perimeter shooters needed to thrive in today’s college basketball. We’ll work like crazy over 5 or 10 minutes to get a lead and it’s gone in many cases in a matter of a minute or two because our opponents drain a few 3’s. That scenario never happens in reverse.

    The next best teams in the SEC to UK, UF and SC, are playing tonight and neither one of them could score a basket until almost six minutes into the game. It’s seven minutes into the game now and SC still hasn’t scored. The SEC flat out sucks – that’s the only reason Mark Fox still has a job. McGarity will continue to settle for eternal basketball purgatory with Fox just as he accepts it for every other UGA athletic program. Fox and McGarity both have to go.


    1. I do wish Georgia had better three-point shooters, year in, year out. For some reason, that doesn’t seem to be something Fox values as he’s rarely had more than 2 perimeter threats on any given team.

      This year’s team is ranked 314th in the nation in 3-pt% at 31%.


      1. what are you guys bemoaning about? ok, so UGA is last in the league in 3 pt % they just beat the team who leads the league in 3 pt %.

        is UGA the best all-around team in the league? of course not. the team definitely has some strengths though that covers up their most glaring offensive weakness. they’re one of the leaders in FTA, FT% and boards. been about 5 years since a UGA team was one of the league leaders in FT %. I’ll take a team that pressures and puts the opposing team in foul trouble, while also gets their fair share of high % 2nd chance opportunities inside the paint, as opposed to banking on the 3 game in and game out.

        4-2. two disappointing losses. RPI is in the 30s. all is not yet lost.


        1. I never said I wanted a UGA team that was banking on the three, but merely one more legitimate outside threat. If Georgia is ever going to take that “next step” and become a serious basketball contender, which I hope is the end game, they have to have more than just two guys that can stretch the defense from the outside on their roster. Of the current AP Top 25, 17 of those teams make over 37% from beyond the arc.


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