ATHENS, Ga. — Freshman Koi Love’s first career 20-point game propelled Vanderbilt women’s basketball to a 63-55 victory at Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday night.
Vanderbilt (12-4, 2-1 SEC) won at Georgia for the first time since 2011 and is 2-1 in conference play for the first time since 2014. The Commodores have won seven of their last eight and have lost just once since Nov. 29.
Love finished with 22 points on 7 of 12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Fifth-year senior Mariella Fasoula added 14 points and six rebounds.
“I think it is always a tough environment to come into here, and to steal a win is huge,” said head coach Stephanie White. “I mean this is a very good team, Georgia is always prepared on the defensive end of the floor and they have a lot of weapons. I am just incredibly proud of our growth with this young group.
“We just have to take it one game at a time and prepare for one team at a time. We can’t get too high and can’t get too low. I’m just very proud of this team for being able to bounce back from a not very good performance. Getting a road win in the SEC is tough, so to be able to do that here is really good for us. So now, we get to enjoy this until about midnight, and then, we turn the page and start preparing for South Carolina.”
How it Happened
It was a defensive start on both sides. The Commodores scored a season-low 12 first-quarter points, but trailed by just three after the first 10 minutes.
Georgia built a 23-15 lead with 5:25 left in the half, but the Commodores did not allow another point until after intermission. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt finished the half on a 10-0 run, including six points in the final minute from Love, to take a 25-23 lead at the break.
The third quarter has been Vandy’s best all season and it was again in Athens. The pace picked up and the Commodores caught fire. Senior LeaLea Carter capped a 12-0 run with a three-point play and Vanderbilt led 47-34 with 1:46 left in the third.
Vanderbilt led by as many as 14 and held a 49-37 edge at the end of three.
Georgia closed to within single digits early in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 57-50 with 2:35 to go. But the defense held strong and Fasoula added a pair of buckets to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
— Vanderbilt WBB (@VandyWBB) January 10, 2020
By the Numbers
Five-foot-nine sophomore guard Jordyn Cambridge led the Commodores with eight rebounds and added three assists and two steals.
Vanderbilt held Georgia to just 20 of 60 (33.3 percent) from the field, while shooting 22 of 52 (42.3 percent) on the offensive end. The Commodores won the rebounding battle for the 15th time in 16 games with a 40-36 edge.
Vanderbilt has matched last season’s SEC win total (2-14) … Vanderbilt is 3-1 on the road this season and has surpassed last season’s road win total (2-13) … Georgia had won the last four overall and the last five in Athens against the Commodores … This was Vandy’s first regulation win over Georgia since a 66-58 win in Nashville in 2014 … Vanderbilt is 12-0 this year when holding opponents under 40 percent and 12-1 when scoring more than 60 points … The Commodores are 12-2 in the United States this year … Vanderbilt has won two of its last three SEC road games (at Tennessee last season) … Vanderbilt’s previous lowest scoring first quarter was 13 against No. 1 UConn on Nov. 13.
Next up, the Commodores will return home to take on No. 4 South Carolina at 4 p.m. Sunday. The first 250 fans will receive a Pride rally towel as part of Pride Day at Memorial Gym. It will also mark the program’s Soles for Souls game where fans can donate new or gently used shoes to local charities. Tickets can be found here.