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Not over yet: Georgia extends season with 78-62 win over Vandy

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Georgia vs Vanderbilt Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Put away your torches and pithforks for just a little longer.

Behind big games from Yante Maten and Derek Ogbeide, Georgia thrashed Vanderbilt 78-62 in the first round of the SEC Tournament. The Red and Black led by as many as 25 in the first half and cruised late to down the Vanderbilt team they’d lost to by 15 in the regular season.

Maten threw down 25 points on a wickedly efficient 9 of 12 night from the field. Perhaps more importantly the AP SEC Player of the Year sat for the last four minutes of game time, resting up for the second round.

Ogbeide pulled down 10 rebounds and added 7 points on a night where Georgia played the type of fundamentally sound basketball they’ve so assiduously avoided all year long. There was even a second half run that the Hoop Hounds thwarted, a rarity in recent weeks. The Commodores went on a 13-2 hot streak to pull within 14 in the second half, but didn’t get much closer than that.

In a way, this was a frustrating demonstration of the basketball Mark Fox’s team could have played this season. If they had, they’d be playing for NCAA Tournament seeding. As it is, they may well just be playing out the string. But at least for now, they’re not at the end of it.

Georgia will now face Missouri tomorrow after the Alabama/Texas A&M game.