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Ice-cold start dooms Vanderbilt in season-ending loss to Georgia

Georgia scored the game’s first ten points and never looked back.

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

The Vanderbilt Commodores ended the 2017-18 basketball season on Wednesday night at the SEC Tournament with a 78-62 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Vanderbilt started the game by missing its first seven shots. By the time Saben Lee made a layup with 14:48 left in the first half, the Commodores were down 10-2. A lot more missed shots followed; by the time Payton Willis hit Vanderbilt’s first three-pointer of the game with 2:44 left in the first half, Vanderbilt trailed 38-16 and the game was all but over.

The Commodores showed some signs of life early in the second half, with a 7-0 run to open the stanza bringing them within 14 points and threatening to make a game of it. But Georgia quickly clamped down defensively, as Vanderbilt would again go over two minutes without scoring, and the Bulldogs coasted to the finish from there.

Playing in their final college game, seniors Riley LaChance and Jeff Roberson led Vanderbilt with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Both got an ovation from the small Vanderbilt contingent at the Scottrade Center when they left the floor for the final time with 16.1 seconds left in the game.

Yante Maten led Georgia with 25 points. Vanderbilt finishes the season with a 12-20 record.