Basketball is a game of runs, and last night was no different at “The Steg”. Georgia jumped out to a 13-3 lead using a full-court trap press with Travis Leslie on the ball – for all of our readers unfamiliar with Leslie, he is a 6’4″ wingman and may be the best athlete in the entire school. Anyhow, Leslie just followed the ball from side to side (McPhee and Ware were on the sides) and the off guards (again either McPhee/Ware) were intercepting Billiken cross-court passes like they were going out of style! The Dawgs built up a 31-18 lead at the half.
However, there are two halves to be played in the game of basketball and the second one almost made Georgia cough up their big lead. Both teams looked semi-lackadaisical coming out of the half – trading buckets and turning it over (UGA actually had 19 TO to STL 17) but the lead remained about 15.
Then Trey Thompkins picked up his 4th personal foul with about 8 minutes remaining the in the game…this is when the proverbial “wheels” started to come off for Georgia (not to mention that Billiken PG Kwamain Mitchell caught fire and hit three 3pt shots). With about 3 minutes to play, Dustin Ware tossed the ball directly to Mitchell and he went down to lay it in to cut the lead to 55-50 UGA.
Thompkins re-entered the game on a critical possession with under 3 minutes to play, and he nailed a turn-around jumper with a hand in his face to take the lead to seven. St. Louis turned it over on the ensuing possession, and the Bulldogs again went to Thompkins in the paint – he was triple-teamed and made an amazing post-pass to fellow big, Jeremy Price for an easy layup. With the Dawgs now up 9 and only 1:53 to play they never looked back!
Positives to take away from the game:
- This full-court zone trap with Leslie on the ball really speeds up the tempo of the game and fits our style
- Dustin Ware had his best game of the season going 5-9 from the field and finishing with 17
- It wasn’t Trey’s best shooting game, but when the game was on the line he hit a big bucket and made a great pass that lead to an easy bucket for Jeremy Price
- Speaking of Price, he quietly compiled 14 points and was very active around the baseline making backdoor cuts to the bucket all night
- How about McPhee taking the ball to the rim of the dribble at least 3 or 4 times and drawing the foul? I didn’t know he had that in his game.
- UGA shot 17-20 on free throws…often an over looked stat in basketball, yet it is such an important one. Hopefully they can keep it up going forward.
Anybody got any thoughts on the game?