Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt 63, Georgia 41


NEW ORLEANS -- A quick look at Vanderbilt's 63-41 victory over Georgia on Friday:

Overview: Georgia hung around against the Commodores using the same defense that baffled Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Bulldogs never got much going offensively, so it was good for them they kept up the defensive intensity. Georgia actually took a 25-24 lead into the locker room by holding Vanderbilt to a surprisingly low 34.6 team shooting percentage.

Yours truly opined that Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins would be two of the highlights of the quarterfinals. Taylor finished the first half with 1 point and only managed 6 total. Jenkins' 15 for the night fell short of his league-best average of 20 points.

The harassment continued well into the second half. The Bulldogs eventually fell behind, thanks to their lagging offense, but they managed to cut the deficit as close as four with about 13 minutes to play.

Turning point: Given enough time, the Commodores' weapons found their shots. Jenkins hit his stride, shooting 6 of 13; Brad Tinsley and Festus Ezeli chipped in 12 and 10, respectively.

When Georgia scored to make it 36-32, Vanderbilt went off. The Commodores went on a 27-9 tear to close out the game, burying the Bulldogs in every kind of offense. Jenkins and Lance Goulbourne hit consecutive 3s to start the run, and the Commodores went inside for 12 points.

In the span of about five minutes, it went from a scrappy fight to a Commodore runaway.

Key player: Jenkins' 15 led the Commodores in scoring, but it seemed like Tinsley sparked Vanderbilt to a stronger second half. The senior scored Vandy's first five points out of halftime, and he finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Key stat: Georgia turned the ball over 17 times, shot 32 percent from the field and only 12 percent from 3-point range.

Miscellaneous: The Commodores hit 16 of 31 shots in the second half after burying only 9-of-26 in the first. It seemed like the Bulldog defense wore down toward the close, but who can blame them considering Vanderbilt's wide array of options.

What's next: Vanderbilt completes the field of four SEC semifinalists. It will face Ole Miss tomorrow afternoon for a berth in the conference title game. Georgia's season is over.