Sometimes, you run into a good matchup.
Georgia is not a bad team, but their wing players are not all that athletic, they don't grab many offensive boards, and they don't force many turnovers. In short, they're ill-equipped to exploit Vanderbilt's usual weaknesses, meaning that about the only way they were going to win was to outshoot Vanderbilt. And while Georgia can do a lot to defend shots, they're not a very good shooting team themselves.
In other words: this was a matchup that played into Vanderbilt's hands. The Commodores committed only five turnovers and Georgia had little answer to Damian Jones down low. Georgia managed to make things interesting in the second half, cutting Vanderbilt's lead to 56-52 with a little under ten minutes left, but a 10-2 run keyed by a couple of Matthew Fisher-Davis threes put the game out of reach for good.
|Wade Baldwin IV||39||4||14||1||3||8||10||0||6||6||3||17||7||1||0||2||16.5||0.42|
- All five starters played well enough, and that's going to be a recipe for winning on most nights.
- So, with relatively little to harp on on that front -- yeah, Wade Baldwin IV wasn't shooting the ball well, but at least he wasn't turning it over or missing free throws -- the most notable thing about the box score is the minutes distribution for the bench players. It's... unusual. It's almost as though Stallings reads the comment cards.
- Riley LaChance played five minutes in the first half, didn't play well, and wasn't seen again -- not even in mop-up duty. Camron Justice played seven minutes, all in the second half. There's no word on if LaChance is injured -- we can probably assume that Stallings decided to just play Camron instead.
- Likewise, Nolan Cressler did not play at all -- instead, when Jeff Roberson got in early foul trouble, Stallings went to Joe Toye for the final 11 minutes of the first half. It seems that Stallings is finally making changes to his rotation, but let's hope that it isn't too late.
And now comes the closing kick, starting with a road trip to Florida on Tuesday -- and followed by home games against Kentucky and Tennessee before the final game of the season at Texas A&M. Needless to say, Vanderbilt needs to win some of these games -- in fact, I suspect they'll need to win three if they want to make the tournament.