When Georgia looks back on this season they will see a season full of missed opportunities. Four different times against quality opponents the Bulldogs were in position to capture wins but let each slip through their fingers. Tonight's game against Vanderbilt could possibly be one of the most painful to swallow.
Georgia built a thirteen point lead in the second half but went without a field goal over the last nine plus minutes of the game. Travis Leslie hit a three to give Georgia a 53-40 lead with 9:52 to go in the game. It would be the last field goad that the Bulldogs would make as they could only add three more free throws to their total. Vanderbilt turned up the pressure defensively coming out of a zone and into a man to man and Georgia never recovered. The Bulldogs had several opportunities to get the ball inside to Trey Thompkins with a mismatch advantage but failed to execute.
A lot of Georgia's damage was self inflicted. They shot the three ball so well early that they settled for some tough attempts late in the game. Even when Georgia was able to get the ball inside, they struggled against Vanderbilt's interior defense and Festus Ezeli who recorded a career high seven blocks. The Commodores physical play inside frustrated the Bulldogs all night and particularly at crunch time. Trey Thompkins in particular was visibly frustrated as he finished with just eight points and eight rebounds.
Georgia was able to hold John Jenkins scoreless in the first half but couldn't contain him in the second half. Jenkins scored a game high 21 points with all of them coming in the second half of play. The performance was eerily similar to the performance turned in by Xavier's Tu Holloway whom the Bulldogs also held scoreless in the first half of their match up last week.
The Bulldogs were simply not able to make a play down the stretch whether it was a defensive stop, a defensive rebound, or a good look at the basket offensively that was needed. The frustrations boiled over with under a minute remaining when Mark Fox let his frustrations be heard on the officiating crew earning the Bulldog coach a technical foul.
This loss doesn't necessarily take the Bulldogs out of the running for the NCAA Tournament but it sure doesn't help their cause any. Georgia will now need to steal a road win in one of its last three road contests to insure itself a winning conference mark. That won't be an easy task with road games remaining at Tennessee, Florida and Alabama. They also must protect the home court the rest of the way and can't afford any losses to the likes of South Carolina or LSU.