TAMPA, Fla. - Vanderbilt played suffocating defense and got scoring contributions up and down the lineup as it eliminated Georgia from the SEC Tournament on Wednesday with a 86-51 rout at AMALIE Arena.
The Commodores (16-15) advance to the second round to face Alabama (19-12) at 7:30 p.m. CT Thursday.
On Wednesday, Vanderbilt held Georgia to a 29.8 percent shooting mark from the field. The Commodores forced 15 turnovers and never trailed in its third victory over the Bulldogs this season.
Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 14 points to lead the Dores. Myles Stute and Jordan Wright each added 11, while Shane Dezoniechipped in 10. Vandy's starters played sparingly in the second half as the game got increasingly out of hand.
Each team struggled offensively at the outset. Vandy suffered through a 4 1/2-minute scoring drought that was finally broken by a Wright 3 from the left wing.
Pippen's first bucket of the evening didn't come until the 10:35 mark-an off-balance, one-handed floater that kissed off the backboard. That was part of a 9-0 run that took Vandy's lead to 18-8.
Georgia would play the final 12:11 of the first half without making a field goal. Vanderbilt took advantage.
The Commodores went into the break up 35-14, having held the Bulldogs to just six free throws over the final 12:11. Pippen scored 13, and seven other Dores scored as well.
Georgia shot just 18.2 percent.
Wright kept the lead north of 20 points with a right-corner triple at the 16:07 mark, putting Vandy ahead 45-23. His 3-ball a little less than four minutes later made it a 56-25 game.
It would never get much closer.
Braelen Bridges had 15 to lead Georgia's scoring.
Wright, a junior, was honored before Wednesday's game for being the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Wright is the third Commodore to earn SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year since the award began in 2004. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native joins Luke Kornet (2017) and Dylan Disu (2021) as the only other Commodores to secure the honor.
Wright, who is a candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America, also took home CoSIDA Academic All-District distinction last month. The junior carries a 3.53 grade point average in the classroom while majoring in human and organizational development.
- The 35-point margin of victory for Vanderbilt tied for the fifth-largest in SEC Tournament history and was one point shy of Vandy's largest SEC Tournament victory in program history, a 36-point win over Tennessee in 1951.
- Vanderbilt's 21-point halftime lead was its largest of the season and the 14 points scored by Georgia was the fewest allowed by the Commodores in a half this season.
- Rodney Chatman started Wednesday, his first start and first appearance since Feb. 12.
- Jamaine Mann saw his first game action since Feb 16.
- Vanderbilt is now 41-58 in SEC Tournament history. The Commodores have made the championship game twice, in 1951 and 2012, and won in each instance.
- Pippen Jr. had scored at least 20 points in seven straight games, a streak which ended Wednesday. Dan Langhi scored at least 20 points in eight straight games in 1999.
- Pippen Jr. now has the second-most made free throws (454) in Vanderbilt history. A.J. Ogilvy (first) made 471.
- Pippen Jr. has 630 points this season, the seventh-most in a single Vanderbilt season and the fourth-most by a junior in a single Vanderbilt season.
- Pippen could become the first SEC player to average at least 20 points per game in consecutive seasons since Ronnie Henderson of LSU did so from 1994-96.
- Wright has started 36 straight games for Vanderbilt.
- Trey Thomas has played in 56 straight games for the Commodores.
- The Commodores are now 95-55 all-time against Georgia, 8-5 on a neutral court and 7-2 in postseason matchups.
- Before Wednesday, Vanderbilt had last played Georgia thrice in a single season in 2012 and won all three matchups.
- Vandy has now forced 15 or more turnovers 15 times this season.
- Vanderbilt's 16 made 3-pointers Wednesday was a season-high.
- The Commodores are 13-4 this season when leading at halftime, 9-2 when scoring at least 75 points and 15-7 when shooting at least 40 percent.
- Attendance on Saturday was announced as 7,121.