Late shot lifts Georgia over Vanderbilt, 70-68

Jan. 8, 2017

Box Score

Stephanie Paul’s short jumper with three-tenths of a second to play was the difference maker for Georgia on Sunday afternoon. But that’s not the only shot that will haunt Vanderbilt in its 70-68 loss in Athens.

The Commodores, normally one of the SEC’s best free-throw shooting teams, made just 18-of-30 attempts from the line, and the missed opportunities proved costly, as Vanderbilt (10-6, 0-3) dropped its fifth straight game.

Shanea Armbrister finished with a team-high 18 points for Georgia (10-6, 2-1), and Pachis Roberts added 13 points and nine rebounds. Paul came off the bench to score 12 points — including the game-winner in the paint — and Caliya Robinson had 10.

Kayla Overbeck and Marqu’es Webb had 12 points each for Vanderbilt. Cierra Walker and Rachel Bell added 10 points each.

Vanderbilt owned a 68-65 lead after an offensive putback by Webb with 1:18 to play in the fourth quarter, but Georgia scored the game’s final five points, beginning with a three-point play by Roberts that tied the game with 54 seconds remaining.

Vanderbilt then missed a contested layup on its ensuing possession, and Georgia grabbed the rebound. The Lady Dogs held the ball for the last shot, and Paul got free in the lane to score the decisive basket just as the horn sounded, setting off a big celebration by the Georgia players and fans.

After watching a replay, the officials put three-tenths of a second back on the clock, but Vanderbilt was unable to get a shot off on the game’s final play.

Vanderbilt finished 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the loss, and out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs, 42-38, despite being outsized.

The Commodores made five 3-pointers in the first quarter while jumping out to a 21-10 lead.

Vanderbilt built its largest lead of the game, 23-10, on a layup by Overbeck early in the second quarter, but Georgia closed the period with a 16-4 run to trim the Commodores’ lead to 33-32 at the half. Vanderbilt’s advantage would have been larger were it not for the Commodores’ struggles at the foul line, where they made just 4-of-11 attempts during the period.

The second half was tight throughout. Georgia owned a six-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Vanderbilt battled back to take the lead, 65-64, on a tip-in by Webb with 4:29 remaining, setting up the roller-coaster finish.

Vanderbilt hosts Auburn on Thursday.