Georgia falls to St. John’s 66-56

First off, I want to say that this team plays hard and doesn’t quit.  I know that there aren’t “moral victories”, but it was encouraging to see this team fight all the way until the end against St. John’s Tuesday night.

Georgia started out down 9-3 early in the first half before going on a 9-3 run of their own to tie the game at 12-12 with 11:11 left in the first half.  The Dawgs were playing great defense and limiting St. John’s to only one shot – their leading scorer, DJ Kennedy, only scored 2 points in the first half.  Trey Thompkins came out of the gates on fire and finished the first half with 11 points…Ricky McPhee even had a massive block (meaning he blocked the shot) which may or may not have been the first of his life.  At the break, Georgia trailed the Red Storm 28-25.

At the start of the second half, St. John’s started playing with a lot more intensity and Georgia couldn’t match it.  The Red Storm really extended their man defense and started challenging the ball with a lot of tenacity.  Georgia’s offense got pushed away from the bucket, and this resulted in several bad possessions.  UGA’s defense (match-up zone) was somewhat sloppy, and St. John’s was able to knock down some big 3 pointers to build up a 10 point gap that the Dawgs were unable to close.

A couple of key statistics:

  • St. John’s shot 48.1% from the field while Georgia shot an icy 37.5%.
  • The Johnnies shot 81.8% FT; UGA only 66.7%

Trey Thompkins played a very good game offensively scoring 19 points and grabbing 6 rebounds…he looked unstoppable when he was able to get in one-on-one situations.

Travis Leslie had another solid outing with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.  He continued to play very aggressively on the offensive end, and also finished an amazing alley-oop in the second half (it looked like his head might hit the rim) that may show up on ESPN’s “Top Ten” highlights tomorrow.

Dustin Ware had a tough night, shooting 1 for 5 from the field while scoring only 6 points.  He also committed 4 turnovers with only 1 assist to match.  The Dawgs must get more consistent play from Dustin going forward to be successful offensively.

The team is off for exams next week and won’t play again until December 19 when they take on Illinois in Duluth, GA.

Anybody have any other thoughts/comments from the game against St. John’s?

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6 thoughts on “Georgia falls to St. John’s 66-56

  1. I was really impressed at their ability to stay with them at the end of the game. A Dennis Felton team would have folded once they were down by 14. They showed some heart. We’ll improve a lot more with a few more tough games before the SEC slate starts. Leslie is doing a fantastic job of staying active on the defensive end and will only improve.

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    1. You are right Justin, Leslie was great on defense. Especially that one possession in the first half where he blocked one shot and then stole the ball from the guy who caught it…He has maybe been the team’s MVP so far in this young season?

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      1. Possibly. It’s really hard to overlook Thompkins. But Leslie is by far the most improved player thus far. He’s doing exactly what we needed him to do; help replace the scoring lost by Twood. If only we could get some production from Drazen or Anyorah, then we could actually have some legitimate depth and not have to depend on McPhee or Ware scoring too much.

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  2. I’ve got tickets to the Illinois game (which will certainly be a tough one for the Dawgs) and I’m very excited about seeing the team in action live.

    The attitude of the team in adversity and overall gives us hope for the future and the continued improvement of the squad.

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  3. One thing I noticed is the difference in the demeanor of Fox vs. Felton. Felton would have been stomping and screaming at our guys all game last night. Sometimes that is needed, but with such a young team I’m glad we have a coach with a more measured approach.

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