Whitney D.-VandyMania.com

WBB: Vanderbilt upsets Georgia in SEC Tourney

Jacksonville, FL -- In a defensive struggle that featured big shots and clutch free throws, Vanderbilt defeated Georgia 56-49 in OT in the second round of the SEC Tournament.

For the second night in a row, Vanderbilt began the game with a display of offensive firepower. All starters scored in the first quarter, with Minta Spears taking the lead with eight points, including two 3-pointers. In the meantime, the Vanderbilt defense kept Georgia under control, and at the end of the quarter, Vanderbilt held an 18-8 lead.



 

Minta Spears 

 

Morgan Batey 

 

Marques Webb 

 

Minta Spears 

But the second quarter was a different story entirely. Georgia came out of the break with ferocious defensive intensity and smothered the Vanderbilt offense completely. In the entire quarter, Vanderbilt's only points came on a basket by Rachel Bell. Fortunately for Vanderbilt, the defense didn't falter along with the offense, so Georgia only scored 12 points to tie the game at 20-20.



 

Both teams continued to play stout defense in the third quarter, but as the quarter drew to a close, it looked like Georgia might be gaining the upper hand as the Dawgs took a 5-point lead at 34-29 with just five seconds remaining. But then Spears hit a 3-pointer from Steph Curry range with one second remaining to cut the Georgia lead to two points at 34-32.



 

Marques Webb 

 

Marques Webb 

 
(SEC Network photo) 

Vanderbilt scored first in the fourth quarter on a basket by Reed to tie the score at 34-34, then a pair of free throws by Reed gave Vanderbilt the lead once again. After a couple of more ties, Georgia eventually managed a 6-point lead at 44-38 with 1:33 left in regulation. 

But layups by Morgan Batey and Reed cut the Georgia lead to one point with 17 seconds remaining. After Vanderbilt fouled, Georgia hit both free throws to take a 3-point lead. After Spears missed a 3-pointer, Bell grabbed the offensive rebound and somehow managed to get the ball back to Spears. Spears launched a 3-pointer but was fouled in the attempt. After sinking two free throws, Georgia called timeout to "ice" her, but Spears hit the third free throw to tie the score at 46-46- when play resumed with one second remaining. Georgia was unable to score, so the game went into over-time.



 

Christa Reed 

 

Christa Reed 

 

Christa Reed 

 

Christa Reed 

 

Minta Spears 

 

Minta Spears 

 

Kendall Shaw 

Georgia scored the first basket in OT, but soon afterward Reed tied the score at 48-48 and soon scored again to put Vanderbilt on top. Georgia scored on a free throw to come within one point at 50-49, but as it turned out, that ended the Dawgs' scoring for the night. In the end, a block and free throws by Batey, and a pair of free throws by Rayte'a Long sealed the victory for Vanderbilt.



 

Christa Reed 

 

Morgan Batey 

 

Rayte'a Long 

 

With the victory, Vanderbilt advances to the quarter-finals of the tournament Friday night against the #3-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs. Game time will be 25 minutes after the 5:00 p.m. game featuring Tennessee and Texas A&M is completed, approximately 7:30 p.m CT. 

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Except where noted, photos copyright 2016 by Whitney D. for VandyMania.com 

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