Mark Fox certainly had his Georgia Bulldogs focused on the task at hand on Wednesday night, as the Dawgs cruised past Pepperdine 64-47 in front of a crowd of nearly 7,000.
No one on Georgia had a particularly flashy game offensively, rather it was a fairly balanced scoring effort – Leslie 14, Thompkins 12 and McPhee 10 (including a slick fast-break lay-up in which he faked a pass and then finished over the Pepperdine defender). The Dawgs shot 46.4% from the field, and only really had one slow stretch in the second half when they scored merely 5 points between the 18:00 to 12:00 minute mark (the Waves switched to a 2-3 zone defense and this crossed Georgia up a bit).
The story of the night was once again UGA’s defense, which limited Pepperdine to only 34.6% from the field to go with 47 points (and this was a team was averaging over 70 points a game coming into the contest). Georgia controlled the glass, out rebounding the Waves 41-26 and essentially dominating them at their own game. And once again, the Bulldogs hosted another “Block Party” at Stegman Coliseum by racking up 7 blocked shots (Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price led the way with 2 apiece).
I felt like the game’s MVP was the pride of Lawrenceville, GA – Ricky McPhee. McPhee guarded Keon Bell for most of the night, and limited him to only 6 points on 2 of 12 shooting to go along with 7 turnovers (Bell was averaging 20.6 points/game before last night). Ricky scored 10 points himself and shot a solid 4 of 7 from the field.
McPhee has clearly established himself as the Dawgs best perimeter defender, and I for one never saw that coming going into this season.
The Dawgs are now sitting at 7-4 as 2009 comes to an end. In my opinion, so far so good.
What’s everybody else think?