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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Vanderbilt’s Steve Grant couldn’t find an open ″shooter,″ so he sank a 26-foot, 3-point jumper as the clock wound down in overtime to give the Commodores a 75-74 overtime Southeastern Conference victory over 11th-ranked Georgia.
″I really wasn’t intending to take a 3-point shot,″ Grant said with a grin after Tuesday’s game. ″My intention was to dribble in and pass off to our shooters. None of them were open and time was winding down, so ...″
The game-winner was the first that Grant, a forward, has attempted in four years as a Commodore.
Vandy guard Kevin Anglin said there was no attempt to set Grant up for the winning shot.
″It (the play) wasn’t designed to go to Grant. He was the only one open,″ Anglin said. ″I wasn’t choosy. I was just thinking somebody had to shoot.″ In other games involving ranked teams, it was No. 2 Arkansas 101, South Alabama 91 and No. 14 St. John’s 57, Brooklyn College 47.
Vanderbilt coach Eddie Fogler wasn’t picky either, although he said he won’t rethink his offensive strategy after Grant’s clutch shot.
″Grant has never taken a 3-point shot in practice and never will,″ Fogler said. ″That was helter-skelter. We were just trying to find an open man before they got set.
″I don’t know if I thought it was going in or not. I hoped it would and it went.″
Vanderbilt, which had tied the game 66-66 on a pair of free throws by Bruce Elder with 25 seconds remaining in regulation, trailed throughout the overtime until Grant’s shot.
Georgia (5-1, 0-1) had gotten 7 points from Litterial Green to offset a free throw by Vanderbilt’s Todd Milholland and led 73-67 with 1:43 left in the overtime.
The Commodores (4-3, 1-0) fought back, getting a 3-point jumper from Anglin and two free throws from Scott Draud to pull within 73-72 with 23 seconds to play.
Georgia’s Rod Cole hit the second of two free throw attempts with 11 seconds left to set up Grant’s heroics.
Grant took Anglin’s pass just beyond mid-court and dribbled three times before pulling up and hitting the game-winner. Georgia tried a desperation full-court pass with one second left, but the ball was intercepted by Vanderbilt’s Elder as the buzzer sounded.
″We had a chance to win it in regulation and in overtime,″ said Georgia coach Hugh Durham. ″We just didn’t do a good job of protecting the ball and proceeded to turn it over, so it’s disappointing.
″We’ve got to get some scoring inside. We can’t live on the perimeter, and that’s a point I want to get across to them. We’ve got to start getting some inside points.″
Draud led Vanderbilt with 18 points, Anglin had 16 and Grant 14.
Georgia’s Green topped all scorers with 33 points. Marshall Wilson was the only other Bulldog in double figures with 14 points.
The Bulldogs held a 29-22 lead with 3:46 left in the first half before the Commodores closed out the half with an 8-0 run to grab a 30-29 edge. Vanderbilt continued its scoring run to begin the second half, reeling off 10 straight points for a combined 18-0 run and assuming a 40-29 lead with 17:59 to play.
Vanderbilt pushed its edge to 51-39 after a 3-point shot by Draud with 12:09 remaining before the Bulldogs retaliated with a surge of their own.
A 12-0 Georgia run, paced by 5 points from Marshall Wilson, gave the Bulldogs a 51-51 tie with 7:22 to play.
The teams traded leads three times until Georgia moved in front 66-61 with 1:09 left in regulation on a 3-point jumper by Jody Patton and two free throws by Arlando Bennett.
The Commodores then sent the game into overtime by sandwiching a 3-point shot by Anglin and two free throws by Elder with 25 seconds left around a missed free throw by Cole. No. 2 Arkansas 101, S. Alabama 91
Arkansas’ Todd Day had 20 of his 26 points in the second half of a game delayed for an hour when the officials didn’t show up.
″They did as well as three officials could have done,″ Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said of the two officials who finally worked the game.
Arkansas (8-1) struggled for most of the night against South Alabama, which had won its first four games.
The Razorbacks never trailed and led by as many as 13 points during the first half. But the Jaguars tied the game at 24 late in the half and got within one point three times in the opening minutes of the second half.
Lee Mayberry added 25 points for Arkansas. Marvin Eackles led the Jaguars with 18 points and Bobby Curtis added 17.
Arkansas said officials from the Sun Belt Conference, of which South Alabama is a member, were scheduled to work the game but either were not assigned or did not come.
A call went out in the area for officials and the game was worked by Mike Fox, a Southwest Conference official, and Johnny Gabbard, who does local high school games. No. 14 St. John’s 57, Brooklyn College 47
Freshman Shawnelle Scott, starting for one of two suspended St. John’s players, scored 20 points and a travel-weary Redmen hung on. It was St. John’s fourth game in seven days in four states.
″A good day’s rest will help us,″ St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca said. ″That’s not an excuse. We were just a half-step behind or our shots were rushed.″
The Redmen (7-0) were playing without senior forward Billy Singleton and junior guard Chucky Sproling, suspended for the game for failure to adhere to the athletic department’s academic rules and regulations.
The victory was St. John’s 12th in a row over the Kingsmen (2-4), dating to 1949-50, and brought the series record to 27-2. The loss was the 36th in a row on the road for Brooklyn, which has a 2-55 record away from home over the past five seasons.
Malik Sealy, who came in averaging 27 points per game for St. John’s, was held to 10.
Brenton Birmingham led Brooklyn with 17 points.