In the second half Vanderbilt retook the lead, 51-50, with 12:06 remaining in the game on a Derrick Byars 3-pointer. Vanderbilt freshman JeJuan Brown then stole the show as he scored 6 points in a little over a minute to help the Commodores build a 57-50 cushion.
Tech pulled to within 4 at 63-59 with 4:11 remaining but could never regain the lead. Ten free throws by Alex Gordon, Shan Foster, Ross Neltner and Dan Cage sealed the win for Vanderbilt down the stretch.
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings credited the Commodores swarming defense for being the difference in the game, "I thought that it was our tenacity on defense in the second half that won the game for us. We turned them over 25 times and that was key. Obviously the rebounding thing was a problem but apparently we got enough of them," said the eighth-year head coach.
It was Vanderbilt's first win over a top 25 team since beating then #19 Alabama in early 2005. The Commodores improved to 38-31 in the all-time series against Georgia Tech.
Vanderbilt improves to 5-3 and will next host Nicholls State on December 16. Georgia Tech falls to 6-3 and will host Centenary on December 18.
JeJuan Brown (VM/Stan Jones)