Brohpy scores career high as Dawgs beat Vandy

ATHENS – Almost a ten point underdog at home, Georgia had more on its plate before its game with Vanderbilt Saturday than expected. Still, Georgia beat Vanderbilt 68-59 Saturday in Athens to claim its first SEC win of the year.

Leading scorer Levi Stukes was out for the game with an ankle injury – Kevin Brophy started in his place and by the end of the game it was as if the Bulldogs didn't miss a beat with Stukes out. Brohpy hit several three-pointer to finish with a career high 19 points.

But before Brohpy's explosion, the name of the game for Georgia Saturday was defense. Dennis Felton's regular defenses were used, but a pressure defense that often extended way outside the perimeter was used against Vandy.

The pressure led to many back door lay-ups for Vandy, but at the half the Dawgs were still in the game down only two. At no point in the first half did the Bulldogs have collective brain freeze.

Winning games, however, is not about the first half. Georgia has been competitive all season in the opening half. In the SEC, and all basketball really, the second half is the most important and that's where the Bulldogs have been having problems this year.

But not this game.

This game there was a reason to watch the Bulldogs in the second half. Georgia supplied nice ball pressure on Vandy's guards and was not as vulnerable to the back door cut in the second half as they were in the first. The Dawgs got their paws on lots of balls causing deflections and disrupting Vanderbilt's offense.

Georgia answered Vanderbilt runs with runs of their own. And when a press was thrown on them they had no problem with it. Players hustled back hard to prevent fast breaks. Dave Bliss got into blocking attempted Vanderbilt dunks. Brohpy hit two buzzer beating three pointers and Steve Newman added one.

It was a sight to see.

The Bulldogs ripped of a 10-point run with 4:40 remaining in the game thanks to Brohpy and Newman's buzzer beating three pointers and Sundiata Gaines' explosive play. Georgia's ten-point run was too much for Vanderbilt to recover from.

Gaines had his best scoring performance since Georgia SEC opening loss to Tennessee. He even shot well from the charity stripe going 5 for 8. The Dawgs shot 56% from behind the arc in the second half which fueled the mild upset. Georgia's 68 points were the most they have had in SEC play. Vanderbilt's 59 points allowed tied for the least amount allowed by the Bulldogs this season in the conference.

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