South Florida tops Georgia 64-53 in SEC/Big East Challenge game
In his post game comments, Mark Fox lamented his team’s defense, saying that it “failed them” throughout the game tonight.
I think when Coach Fox watches the tape of his team’s 64-53 loss to South Florida tomorrow he is going to see that the offense was Georgia’s Achilles heel in this contest, especially down the stretch.
Donte Williams got a stick-back to tie the game at 50-apiece with 4:04 remaining, following an array of UGA offensive rebounds and flailing Bulls’ bodies.
After this basket, however, South Florida’s defense clamped down on the Dawgs, forcing Georgia into a slew of poor offensive possessions in which the ball circled the perimeter until a last-second shot was tossed up by a UGA player in an attempt to beat the shot clock.
The Bulls closed out the last 4 minutes of the game with a 14-3 run that crushed any hopes that Georgia might have had of stealing a game on the road in the newly constructed Sun Dome arena.
The South Florida offense was extremely balanced on Friday night with four players finishing in double-figures. The Bulls were led by sophomore point guard Anthony Collins, who poured in 17 points to go along with 10 assists.
On the flip side, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the only Georgia player to score in double-digits, netting 19 points while shooting 50% from the floor. When the Bulls heightened their defensive focus on KCP late in the second half it really exposed just how one-dimensional this Georgia team can be offensively.
Donte Williams was a ghost for much of the night, scoring 2 points on just 4 field goal attempts, while Neme Djurisic couldn’t find the rim, hitting only 3 of his 13 shots from the floor.
John Cannon tied his season-high with 8 points to go along with 3 rebounds, yet he spent the final quarter of this game on the bench. Cannon appears to be the most gifted offensive big man on this team, and I think it’s imperative that he is on the floor during key stretches of games to take some of the pressure off of Pope.
Lastly, the Dawgs must get more production from the point guard position. Against the Bulls, Vincent Williams and Charles Mann combined for a total of 3 points and 4 assists in 40 minutes of play. When Georgia sees zone defenses, it is up to these guys to penetrate and draw defenders so that the zone breaks down (like how Gerald Robinson, Jr. did the past two years).
Looks like the Bulldogs will have to wait a bit to start their first win streak of the season.