No. 16 Vanderbilt survives in OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Trailing Georgia by five points with 33 seconds left in regulation, things were looking grim for No. 16 Vanderbilt.
Yet worried wasn’t the word A.J. Ogilvy used to describe how the Commodores were feeling in the final moments.
“I don’t know if worry is the right word, a bit concerned,” Ogilvy said. “But we were confident, very confident. We knew if we had a shot to tie the game, we would be able to tie it.”
Ogilvy got that chance and his tip-in with 15 seconds left tied the game at 77. Jermaine Beal then scored six of his career-high 28 points in overtime as Vanderbilt beat the Bulldogs 96-94 on Thursday night.
The Commodores (21-6, 10-3 Southeastern Conference) took a six-point lead in overtime with 28 seconds to go. Georgia (12-14, 4-9) had a chance to tie at the end, but Travis Leslie’s toss of Chris Barnes’ intentionally missed free throw fell short as the buzzer sounded.
Ogilvy had 17 points on 11-of-14 shooting and hauled down 10 rebounds for Vanderbilt, which was playing for the first time since its 58-56 home loss to No. 2 Kentucky. Ogilvy missed a runner in the lane at the buzzer that would have tied that game.
Georgia narrowly missed sweeping the season series against Vanderbilt, which stayed in sole possession of second place in the SEC East.
“I was proud of our guys. They kept playing and kept battling,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “We finally got it over the top and got it to overtime. It was a tough, hard-fought game. (Georgia) is a good team and they’re a relatively difficult team for us for some reason.”
Andre Walker had 17 points and John Jenkins scored 14 for the Commodores, while Jeffery Taylor added 11.
Leslie had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Trey Thompkins had 21 points, Dustin Ware 16, Ricky McPhee 14 and Jeremy Price 12.
The Bulldogs looked like they would pull off the upset, leading 77-72 with 33 seconds remaining in regulation. But Walker hit a 3-pointer and Ware missed two free throws on the next possession to open the door for Ogilvy’s basket, which came off a missed jumper by Beal.
“It is just a matter of instinct, really,” Ogilvy said of the putback. “The ball just bounced the right way for me. I was able to get a hand to it and put it in.”
Georgia led by seven points on three occasions in the second half, including a 65-58 lead with 6:42 remaining.
After going nearly 7 minutes without a field goal, Vanderbilt finally scored away from the free-throw line. Ogilvy’s basket in the lane capped an 8-1 run that tied the game at 66 with 3:12 left.
Thompkins followed with a turnaround jumper to retake the lead and the Bulldogs made 9 of 10 free throws to stay ahead until Ware’s two misses.
The teams combined to attempt 65 free throws as Vanderbilt was 35 of 39 from the line. The Commodores made their last 20 free throws.
“We couldn’t get any calls and they got a lot of calls, and that’s what got us,” Leslie said.
Georgia trailed by 10 points in the first half and by five early in the second, but Ware tied it at 41 on a 3-pointer with 15:31 remaining.
The Bulldogs tied it four more times—the last when Leslie dunked an alley-oop pass from Thompkins. Thompkins then blocked Taylor to set up Georgia’s go-ahead basket. McPhee followed with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired for a 56-53 lead with 9:54 to go.
“It’s a tough one to go home with,” first-year Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We came here to win. We didn’t come here to get close.”