The Georgia Bulldogs’ pursuit of that elusive first SEC road win of the Mark Fox era met with an unhappy end in Nashville, which lived up to its historic stature as a house of horrors for the Red and Black on Wednesday night. Aided by an officiating crew that was unwilling to countenance the slightest show of aggression by the visitors, the Vanderbilt Commodores seemingly maintained a constant ten-point lead throughout the second half in the course of carding a 73-66 victory.
Vanderbilt turned the ball over 15 times to Georgia’s 14, but each team notched 16 of its points off of takeaways. The Bulldogs hit a lower percentage of their shots, both within and beyond the arc, but the visitors launched the ball toward the goal much more frequently from the field. The Red and Black attempted 72 shots from two-point range and 21 from three-point range, as opposed to just 50 and 17, respectively, from the Black and Gold.
The Athenians led in rebounds (44-36), offensive rebounds (20-9), points in the paint (34-26), and bench points (7-5). What, then, allowed the Music City Mariners to emerge triumphant? Vanderbilt sent its shooters to the free throw line 35 times, while Georgia had just 15 chances from the charity stripe. Although the Bulldogs actually sunk a higher percentage of their free throws, the visitors were unable to overcome the 25 uncontested baskets the Commodores were awarded on foul shots.
Tonight’s game was a missed opportunity for the Red and Black, who will return to action on Saturday with another road outing that suddenly looks like a must-win if Georgia’s season is to extend into March.