- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Georgia’s 3-point shooting mirrored the frigid temperatures outside, where a southern snowfall snarled traffic and airports.

Despite the fact that traveling from Nashville took about four extra hours for Vanderbilt, the Commodores came away with a 59-54 win, halting Georgia’s eight-game home winning streak.

Vanderbilt (11-8, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) got 16 points from Rod Odom and made 15 of 21 free throws in the last two and a half minutes to thwart Georgia’s comeback attempt.

“Our defense played well,” said Vanderbilt Coach Kevin Stallings. “They are such a great rebounding team, and they do such a good job of getting to the foul line that we thought those were the two critical issues that faced our defense.”

Georgia (10-9, 4-3) won the rebounding battle 38-35 and made 20 of 27 free throws. But the Bulldogs shot just 17 percent from beyond the 3-point line, cooler even than the 23 degree temperature outside.

“I’m perturbed because we didn’t play well,” said Georgia Coach Mark Fox. “Vanderbilt taught us a lesson. I’m not happy with how this team approached this game.”

The bad weather Tuesday diverted Vanderbilt’s flight to Greenville, S.C., 101 miles northeast of Athens.

“I told them before we ever left Nashville that there was a good chance we were going to encounter problems,” Stallings said. “We were about to fly to Atlanta because they would not let us land in Athens, and this is going to be a circus.

“We get to Atlanta and then we end up in Greenville, and I told them, that there is no excuse. All that matters is that we have a game at 7 o’clock eastern time and we need to be ready to go.”

Fox complained that Georgia’s defense did not affect Vanderbilt’s 3-point shooting. And its offense was too willing to settle for 3s.

“We were so weak minded in the first half that almost half of our shots were 3-pointers,” said Fox. “I don’t know what they were thinking. You can’t play winning basketball that way.”

Odom scored Vanderbilt’s last field goal with 3:23 to play, nailing a 3-pointer to put the Commodores up 44-36. Vanderbilt made 15 of 21 free throws the rest of the way.

Dai-Jon Parker scored 15 for Vanderbilt, and Kyle Fuller added 13 - 10 of those from the line. The Commodores made 8 of 18 3-point shots.

Charles Mann led Georgia with 20 points, hitting 9 of 11 free throws. The Bulldogs shot 27 percent from the field and a woeful 4 for 23 from behind the 3-point line.

Freshman Juwan Parker started for the third time of his career in place of Kenny Gaines, sidelined with a bruised thigh. Parker missed all 10 shots he attempted.

“He shouldn’t put this game behind him,” said Fox. “It happened. We have to start shooting the ball in. It is not that hard of a skill.”

“I might get into the gym and shoot some tonight,” said Parker. “I have to hit something before I go home.”

Brandon Morris’s 3-point basket 90 seconds into the game launched Georgia to an early 8-2 lead. But the Bulldogs did not make another three in the first half, missing 11 straight. The streak reached 17 straight misses before Georgia hit three of its last five 3-pointers in the last minute of a desperation comeback attempt.

The teams were tied 12-12 after Morris hit one free throw with 10:17 to play, but Vanderbilt went on a 13-2 run, highlighted by Odom’s four-point play.

The Commodores twice led by as much as 10 points, the last time at 27-17 after two free throws by Fuller with 4:51 to play in the first half. Vanderbilt did not score again in the half.

Georgia managed to narrow the gap to 27-21 with 3:42 to play, and then the Bulldogs did not score again in the half.

Georgia took a different approach to start the second half as point guard Mann started to penetrate, getting two early layups and a free throw to help tie the game 28-all with 17:20 to go.

“Players were not being aggressive,” said Mann. “I wanted to play my game. I wanted to attack and help others get open.”

However, Vanderbilt regained the lead. The Commodores never put together a dramatic run, but gradually pulled away from the struggling Bulldogs.

Walk-on Taylor Echols hit a 3-pointer with 57.3 seconds to play that closed the gap for the Bulldogs to 51-44. Another 3-pointer by Mann with 15.8 seconds left cut it to 56-52, but an intentional foul on Georgia’s Kenny Paul Geno gave Vandy a chance to ice the game with 3 of 4 free throws.

Morris added 12 points for Georgia, which had not lost a home game since arch-rival Georgia Tech won 80-71 Nov. 15.

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