The Georgia men’s basketball team defeated Vanderbilt off a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from senior Tyree Crump. The Bulldogs trailed for the majority of the game but surged late to beat the Commodores 80-78. With the win, Georgia moved to 14-13 overall and 4-10 in the SEC. Here are some observations from The Red & Black:
Completing the comeback
The Bulldogs never seemed to be able to get a foothold in the game and were hindered by fouls. All eight Georgia players who saw action in the first half recorded at least one foul, with Toumani Camara, Anthony Edwards, Sahvir Wheeler and Mike Peake all committing two each. Vanderbilt went into the double-bonus halfway through the first half and went into halftime up 40-32.
Three minutes into the second half, Wheeler got called for his third and fourth fouls and was forced to sit on the bench until late in the game. In the meantime, Vanderbilt kept Georgia at bay. Anytime the Bulldogs threatened, the Commodores answered accordingly and regained a sense of comfort.
When Wheeler re-entered the game with under three minutes to go, Georgia seemed rejuvenated. The freshman assisted a Jordan Harris 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs within three at 74-71. A layup from Wheeler put the Bulldogs within one, but free throws allowed Vanderbilt to continually extend its lead.
Free throws would eventually be the undoing of the Commodores, however, as they missed three straight in the final minute. On the last miss, there was a scramble for the ball, and Tyree Crump came up with it. He pushed down the court before pulling up from well beyond the 3-point line and hitting the shot at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs the win.
The senior may have hit the game-winner, but his two other 3-pointers were also key in Georgia’s comeback. Besides Crump, Harris was crucial in Georgia’s comeback later in the second half, hitting two 3-pointers and scoring points off broken plays and offensive rebounds. He finished with 17 points and five rebounds.
Lee makes his mark
Head coach Tom Crean had nothing but positive things to say about Vanderbilt guard Saben Lee on Friday prior to Georgia’s trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Lee lived up to the praise on Saturday.
His career high came on Feb. 5 against LSU when he scored 33 points. Lee had 22 points and shot 8-for-11 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the first half on Saturday.
Lee exploited the switches and took advantage whenever he saw the likes of Rayshaun Hammonds and Camara on him. His shot choices were impeccable, pulling up for a floater when Peake set up for a charge and taking whatever the defense gave him.
Georgia’s attention to Lee was heightened in the second half and allowed for other Vanderbilt players to get involved. Scotty Pippen Jr. had 16 points in the second half and hit timely 3-pointers for the Commodores. Maxwell Evans also added two 3-pointers and played his part in maintaining Vanderbilt’s lead until late in the game.
Lee finished with 34 points, breaking the career high he set just more than two weeks ago. He shot 12-for-17 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.
Adding to Edwards’ highlight reel
With just under six minutes to go in the first half, Edwards split a pick-and-roll trap and saw a lane to the basket. He attacked, rising and dunking on Braelee Albert, who was positioned underneath the basket hoping for a charge call to save his embarrassment. It was called a blocking foul, and Edwards would go to the line and sink the free throw to complete his 3-point play.
That play was just one of many highlight plays in Edwards’ freshman season. He finished with 19 points and shot 7-for-16 from the field before fouling out late in the second half.