On one side, a Georgia Bulldogs team featuring Anthony Edwards, possibly the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
On the other side, a Vanderbilt Commodores team that had seven scholarship players available for Saturday’s game, and also played four walk-ons.
On one side, this:
ANTHONY EDWARDS #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/kxI5LeJGjp— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 22, 2020
On the other side, this:
Weikert at the buzzer— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) February 23, 2020
( @Asa_Johnson9) pic.twitter.com/t9jF7AyeXW
And yet, in spite of Edwards’ brilliance, Vanderbilt mostly looked like the better team on Saturday night. The Commodores jumped out to a 20-9 lead, though Georgia would promptly go on an 8-0 run to get right back into the game — a pattern that persisted for much of the game.
Late in the first half, though, Jerry Stackhouse found himself with little-used walk-ons Drew Weikert, Jon Jossell, and Isaiah Rice on the floor at the same time — and this lineup outscored Georgia 8 to 3, capped by Weikert stealing a halfhearted Georgia pass and laying it in at the buzzer to give the Commodores a 40-32 lead going into the break, with Saben Lee scoring 22 of his career-high 34 points in the first frame.
Early in the second half, it looked like Vanderbilt might start to pull away, getting out to a 51-40 lead early on before a 12-0 Bulldog run gave them their first lead since early in the first half. But the Commodores responded with a 14-4 run.
Vanderbilt seemed to have things in control down the stretch; a Scotty Pippen floater gave Vanderbilt a 74-68 lead at the final media timeout. And yet, with the score 78-75 with 13 seconds left, Saben Lee missed the front end of a one-and-one, Braelee Albert collected the rebound and the referees then ruled that he stepped out of bounds — helped by a Georgia player, perhaps, and also possibly not even out of bounds. A quick two free throws by Georgia’s Sahvir Wheeler cut the lead to one, and Pippen left the door open by missing a pair of free throws. In the scramble for the loose ball, Georgia’s Tyree Crump came away with it and drained a 30-footer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs an 80-78 win.
Lee finished the game with 34 and Scotty Pippen Jr. had 20.