NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt Commodores got back 6-foot-11 center A.J. Ogilvy on Wednesday night. That, and their stingy defense, proved more than enough against Georgia.
Ogilvy scored 18 points as Vanderbilt beat Georgia 50-40 in the lowest scoring game for both teams this season. The preseason All-Southeastern Conference player had missed two of the past three games for Vanderbilt with a bone bruise in his right heal, including the Commodores' SEC opener last weekend in Kentucky.
"It felt a lot better being out there contributing to the team like that rather than watching from the sideline," Ogilvy said.
He started, played 29 minutes and blocked two shots and also came up with four steals in helping Vanderbilt (12-4, 1-1) win for the seventh time in eight games as the Commodores opened league play at home.
"Ogilvy carried them tonight obviously," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said.
Georgia (9-8, 0-2) lost its fourth straight overall. The Bulldogs had leads in each of the previous three games, blowing big leads in the second half of two of those including last weekend's loss to Tennessee.
This time, they led only briefly in the opening minutes.
Terrance Woodbury scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt now has won four straight in this series.
The Commodores came in tied for first nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 36.1 shooting. Georgia did even worse, hitting just 33.3 percent (18 of 54).
The defense helped on a night when Vanderbilt scored its fewest points in any win since 1985 when the Commodores beat Princeton 49-44, and fewest in an SEC win since 1982 when they beat Florida 47-46 in overtime at the SEC tournament
"I didn't even know I could coach a team to defend like this to be honest with you," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "They're doing great, and there's going to be nights for us this year we're going to have to because there are going to be some nights we struggle to score, maybe more than I hope."
Georgia scored the first six points and led 12-4 before Ogilvy started a 6-0 spurt, and Darshawn McClellan's jumper put Vanderbilt ahead to stay at 14-12 with 7:31 left in the first half. Georgia then missed seven straight shots and hit only three of its final 15.
Vanderbilt started cold, hitting just three of their first 13 shots and missing all eight attempts from 3-point range in the half for the first time since going 0 of 9 at Tennessee last season. The Commodores still led 26-18 at halftime.
The Bulldogs pulled within four twice within the final 6 minutes, the last on a bucket by Albert Jackson with 3:04 left at 44-40. Brad Tinsley hit two free throws, and Ogilvy drove the lane for a layup to push the lead back to 48-40. Ogilvy added another bucket with 91 seconds to go as the Commodores dribbled out the clock in the final seconds.
It was Georgia's lowest scoring game by two, edging out the 42 points the Bulldogs scored in a loss to Illinois on Dec. 6.
Vanderbilt's previous low had been 51 points in a loss to Georgia Tech, also on Dec. 6. Commodores junior guard Jermaine Beal said that's what happens in conference play.
"Everybody's intensity increases a little bit. At the same time, we had open shots folks usually make and the shots weren't falling today. But our defense picked us up," Beal said.