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Ezeli helps Vandy take down Georgia

Jan 13, 2011 - 6:47 AM Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Festus Ezeli scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as the Vanderbilt Commodores stayed hot at home with a 73-66 victory over the 24th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs at Memorial Gym.

John Jenkins made a trio of three-pointers en route to 18 points for the Commodores (12-3, 1-1 SEC), who improved to 9-0 at home this season. Jeffery Taylor tallied 15 points.

"Other than some craziness at the end where we were trying to dribble the ball through two or three guys, I was really pleased," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. "[Georgia is] a good team and we knew it was going to be a tough game. We played really hard to win. It was the second game in a row where we did a good job of defending the backboard in the first half, although it got away from us in the second half."

Travis Leslie finished with 21 points, 13 boards and five assists for the Bulldogs (12-3, 1-1), who saw an SEC-best nine-game winning streak come to an end.

Gerald Robinson donated 20 points and five rebounds for Georgia, which became nationally ranked this week for the first time since 2003 thanks to its win over then No. 10 Kentucky on Saturday. Trey Thompkins added 13 points and 13 boards.

Vanderbilt never looked back after Lance Goulbourne opened the game with four straight points.

The Bulldogs kept it close and cut their deficit to one, 19-18, on Thompkins' trey with 12:52 remaining. The Commodores, though, responded with a 14-4 run. Rod Odom and Brad Tinsley capped the surge with three-pointers to make it 33-22 with 6:09 to go in the half.

Vanderbilt took a 40-32 edge into the locker room.

The second half was much like the first, as the Commodores continued to answer every Georgia run.

Trailing by nine, 56-47 with 13:20 to play, the Bulldogs ripped off six consecutive points. Robinson ended the flurry with a slam and two free throws to make it a 56-53 contest with 10:34 left.

Vanderbilt fought right back with an ensuing 7-0 run to make it a double-digit game. Jenkins bookended the surge with two free throws and a three-pointer to give the home team a 63-53 edge.

Georgia never got closer than six the rest of the way.

"We came with the intent to play well and win," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "We are going home with a loss. I have to congratulate Vanderbilt. They played with real determination and purpose, probably more purpose than we did."

Game Notes

Vanderbilt owns an 83-48 series lead over Georgia...The Bulldogs fell to 3-1 in true road games this year...The Commodores made 42 percent of their shots, while Georgia shot 34.7 percent from the field...Tinsley ended with nine points and five rebounds.