Georgia smacks Vanderbilt, 85-73

ATHENS-- Levi Stukes scored a game-high 23 points to lead Georgia past Vanderbilt 85-73 Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 10-5 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt drops to 11-6 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.

"All of our big men played really well today," said head coach Dennis Felton. "Games like this needed big plays and we got some."

Both teams shot extremely well to open the contest connecting on 4-of-4 from the floor. The first miss for either team came when Vanderbilt's three-pointer from the top of the key rimmed out at 17:12.

For the next three minutes the Bulldogs and the Commodores went scoreless until Vanderbilt's Derrick Byars hit a three from the left wing. Byars was 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Stukes drained his second three-point shot of the contest to spark a 7-0 Georgia run sending the Bulldogs on top 22-19. Their largest lead of the half came minutes later when Takais Brown went up strong to the hoop giving Georgia a five-point advantage at 33-28.

Vanderbilt took its final lead of the opening stanza at 4:17 when Dan Cage hit a three from the right side putting the Commodores up 34-33. Stukes tipped in his own miss just over one minute later to put the Bulldogs back in front. They would enter the locker room up 40-39. For the half, there were eight lead changes and two ties.

Georgia wasted no time putting up points as they sailed ahead on a 9-3 run over the first 3:09 in the second. Vanderbilt refused to let down and fought back to take their first lead of the half at 11:46 off a dunk by George Drake.

The score remained close over the next several minutes, but the Bulldogs began to distance themselves when Billy Humphrey hit a pair of three-pointers on consecutive trips down the court putting Georgia ahead 75-68. The Commodores would come within four points at the 2:00 mark, but would fail to come any closer for the duration of the contest.

Despite hitting 10-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first, Vanderbilt was held to just 3-of-16 in the second half.

Vanderbilt will next host Alabama on Wednesday night at Memorial Gym. Georgia travels to Arkansas on the same day.


Vanderbilt's Shan Foster, left, puts up a shot over Georgia's Steve Newman during the second half of a basketball game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 85-73. (AP Photo/Todd Bennett)

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