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Vanderbilt Bombs Tennessee, Georgia Edges Missouri

The favored teams came out ahead on Wednesday night.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vanderbilt Commodores raced out to a huge first half lead and rode it to a big 88-74 win in the house of the rival Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday night.

For about the first seven minutes of the game, VU held a modest lead and got the margin to 11-6. From there, the Commodores' outside shooters caught fire. Over the next five minutes, Matthew Fisher-Davis went 2/2 and Camron Justice went 3/4 from downtown to push the lead out to 28-14. Fisher-Davis made three more triples the rest of the way, and a pair of deep bombs by Wade Baldwin (one early in the half, one late) gave the Commodores a 30-0 advantage on behind the arc shooting.

Tennessee never threatened in the second half despite outscoring Vanderbilt by seven after intermission. Snow kept many fans away from the game, negating what would have been a nice home court advantage. Baldwin had 25 points, Fisher-Davis had 18 off the bench, and UT's Kevin Punter led all scorers with 26. Vandy evened up its SEC record to three in each column, while the Vols fell to 2-4.

The night's other game had considerably more drama, as the Georgia Bulldogs needed all 40 minutes to gut out a 60-57 win in Columbia over the Missouri Tigers.

The first half wasn't pretty for the offenses, as there were multiple stretches where neither team scored for at least two minutes. Mizzou jumped out to a 5-0 lead within the first minute and a half, but it scored just 17 points the rest of the period. UGA spaced its scoring out better, but it came to the same total en route to a 22-22 tie.

The teams found better luck at putting points on the board in the second half, with each team scoring at least 35. Georgia led for most of the half and appeared to be on the way to a comfortable victory after getting to a 54-41 lead with just over six minutes to go. Mizzou then found its defense and went on a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to cut the deficit to 56-53 with just under a minute to go. J.J. Frazier iced the game for the Bulldogs in that final minute, making all four free throws as the Tigers extended the game, though a Missouri three from Terrence Phillips with a second to go made it a three-point final margin instead of six.

Yante Maten was the best player on the floor, scoring 21 and grabbing ten boards for the visitors. Frazier also put in 16 while dishing seven assists. Phillips and Namon Wright each scored a dozen to lead Mizzou, which shot just 35.8% from the floor against the tough UGA defense.