There were a host of heroes in Vanderbilt's stirring 96-94 comeback victory over Georgia Thursday night.
Andre Walker, who scored a career-high 17 points, picked a good night to be one of them, and he saved his best for the game's final furious minutes.
Someone had to make a big shot. Georgia led 77-72 with 33 seconds left, and a sweep by the division's worst team was looming very large. The Bulldogs had hit their last nine free throw attempts, including six in the last minute. Trading baskets wasn't going to work.
Georgia hung off Walker and dared him to attempt his second 3-pointer. Of the season.
He drilled it, and just like that, the Commodores were within two. It was his first 3 of the season and just the third of his collegiate career.
"I think I can make them, so I had full confidence," Walker said. "That's why I took the shot."
"He can make shots if he's open," Stallings said. "He doesn't choose to shoot many, and that's kind of up to him."
Two missed Georgia free throws later, A.J. Ogilvy got a fortuitous bounce and put back in a Jermaine Beal miss to tie things up at 77.
Vanderbilt had to sweat out a last-second shot and putback attempt by the Bulldogs that missed before getting to overtime.
Walker wasn't done making big plays. With Vanderbilt clinging to a two-point lead, Walker pulled up and swished a jumper with 41 seconds left to push the lead to 90-86. He followed up with a block of Travis Leslie on the next possession, and two more free throws by Ogilvy after rebounding Leslie's miss gave the Commodores a six-point advantage too big for the Bulldogs to overcome.
"He was awesome," Stallings said. "He sure did make a big 15-footer there. Wow, that was a big shot."
He followed up with a block of Travis Leslie on the next possession, and two more free throws by Ogilvy after rebounding Leslie's miss gave the Commodores a six-point advantage too big for the Bulldogs to overcome.
Walker finished 5-7 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line, in addition to three blocks and a steal.
The quiet glue guy didn't have much to say after the game was over.