Dawgs Mount Comeback to Roll Over Tide

Chris Barnes owned the paint on Saturday

With 11:29 remaining in the game, the Georgia Bulldogs found themselves down 52-39 (and Alabama was already in the bonus shooting free throws).   Georgia actually held a one-point lead at the half, but the Alabama Crimson Tide were in the midst of a 23-9 run (and on the brink of handing the Dawgs their 9th SEC loss).

This would have been a perfect time for a team with only 3 conference wins to throw up the white flag.

Unfortunately for the Alabama, Georgia is not that kind of team.

Instead, the Dawgs turned up their defense and road the backs of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie to a 76-70 victory.

What makes this win even more amazing is the fact that Georgia was horrendous at the foul line.  The Dawgs were 13 of 24 from the stripe (54.2%), and Thompkins was one of the main culprits (he hit only 3 of 9).

The free-throw line was Trey’s only flaw, though.  Thompkins finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds (a career high), with 15 points and 11 rebounds coming in the second half.  He scored 7 points in the game’s final 5 minutes.

Trey’s effort on the defensive glass yesterday, and really all season, is a testament to his overall work ethic.  He is the star player on the team, yet no one works harder than Thompkins on securing defensive rebounds.

Travis Leslie scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, and he finished with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

Leslie and Thompkins played great, but in my opinion, Chris Barnes saved the day.

Alabama held a 60-54 lead with 6:26 left in the game, and Trey Thompkins was at the line for a one-and-one.  Thompkins missed the front-end of the one-and-one, making Georgia now an atrocious 1 of 11 on free throws (and making the comeback seemingly impossible).

But Chris Barnes secured the rebound off the miss, and was fouled by Alabama center Chris Hines (this was Hines’ fifth foul).  Chris knocked down both free throws, bringing Georgia within four points.

Following the free throws, the Tide tried to pound the ball inside on its next possession, but their shot attempt was swatted by non other than Chris Barnes.

The Dawgs took the ball down the court and Thompkins converted a basket to bring Georgia within two.

I thought that this little segment of play by Chris Barnes was the play(s) of the game, as it enabled Georgia to get to within two points with 4:54 left (as opposed to being down 8).  Barnes scored a season-high 10 points, to go along with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

As a team, Georgia shot 54.7% from the field and 55.6% from beyond the arc (some early three’s from McPhee and EA kept Georgia in the game in the first half).  The Dawgs only turned it over 14 times – 2.5 times less than their SEC average – and finished with 19 assists (Bama only had 8).

The Dawgs out-rebounded the Tide 38 to 25, and won the points in the paint battle 24 to 14.

Georgia’s defense held Bama to only 40.4% from the floor, and they reject 7 Tide shots!

Georgia is now 4-8 in the SEC, and 12-13 overall (and a shot at reaching the NIT).

10 thoughts on “Dawgs Mount Comeback to Roll Over Tide

  1. Good call on Barnes’ play saturday. His defense may well have been the difference down the stretch. Now if we could only get Chris to quit putting the ball on the floor every time he receives a pass inside, he might become more of an offensive presence as well. If I were coaching him (and it is probably good that I am not), I’d have Chris immediately put passes up on the glass and forgo the floor entirely. That was one of the reasons Bernard king at 6’6” was such a beast inside against much bigger post players–he simply got the ball up before others could react and when they did react, they were usually whistled for fouls or goal tending. Of course, I am also well aware that B. King was cat-quick as few players in the history of the game ever were. nonetheless, all Chris does by putting passes on the floor is to allow defenders time to react.
    Oh it sure was electric at Stege watching the dawgs come back yesterday. I read in the AJC this morning that all seats except the student section are sold out for Florida and Kentucky. Hopefully we can get enough students away from beer pong and other such enlightening passtimes to fill up their section. The kids that are there have been GREAT!!!


    1. I think Barnes could be a 8 or 9 point, 6 or 7 rebound kind of guy his senior year…what about you?

      He is very powerful down low, and like you said, if he just starts going up with it he may score quite a few more points.

      Georgia’s students section is awesome! They also have a nice mixture of wacky characters as well – Rocky, Peanut Butter boy, Body Paint Man, Swimmer Boy, those 4 guys in the different colored body suits…they are clearly having a pretty good time at the game.


  2. Excellent recap! Also deserving praise is Dustin Ware, who scored all his seven points in a row late in the second half to pretty much salt the game away. And I’m loving the wacko fans, too.


  3. I missed all but the end of the game, but I’m really glad to read about Barnes having a big game. We have been waiting all season for that guy to step up. He has the width and strength to own his spot in the paint, but there have been times I wondered if he had “tiny hands” like the guy in the Burger King commercial.

    The game at Vandy is going to be a really tough challenge, but its a great chance for the Dawgs to get in NIT position. We should be confident b/c we whipped them once, but Nashville is not a likely spot for our first road win.


  4. I’ve been thinking about a name for the wackos in the student section. At Duke there are the Cameron crazies. I’m sure that they’d rather pick their own name. I could get behind Stegeman Schizos however.


    1. Interesting…A name for this bunch would be nice.

      I am curious to see the newest addition to this group for the Florida game. At this point, nothing would really surprise me.


    1. I like it…I graduated from UGA in 2001, and I can say that the student section was definitely not as animated as the one you guys have today.

      Any nicknames for the UGA student section yet?

      If so, let me know so I can reference it in a blog post.


    2. I like the initiative you students are showing. It obviously makes a noticeable difference on the court when the team has enthusiastic crowd support.

      Here is an idea I have had since I was a student in the 90s that yall should take to Evans: remove the seats in the lower student section and replace them with bleachers so that more students can be packed closer to the court. This is how a lot of the big basketball programs do it and I bet the administration would get behind the idea if the students pushed it.


  5. Great job by the students, and by Chris Barnes on Saturday- probably his best game as a Dawg. Let’s keep plugging away, circle next Wednesday, the Cats are going to lose one sooner or later- maybe us.


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