Kentucky Defense Smothers Georgia

The atmosphere in Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday night was electric (especially at the beginning of the game).  The crowd was about 65% Georgia fans, and the rest were donning blue and white.

The Dawgs came out of the gates fearless, going toe-to-toe with the #3 team in the country.  When Kentucky built up a 7-2 lead to start the game, Georgia responded with a 9-0 run of their own to go up 11-7 on an emphatic Travis Leslie dunk.

Trey Thompkins hit a three-pointer with 9:36 remaining in the half to put his Bulldogs up 26-20 (their biggest lead of the game).

Then Georgia got a little careless with the ball, and two Kentucky steals and a Thompkins miss later and the game was tied at 26 apiece.

The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, and Kentucky went into the break with a 40-36 advantage.

And then the second half arrived…

Things didn’t start out too well for the Dawgs – they didn’t score a basket until Travis Leslie got a dunk off of a Chris Barnes pass with 16:15 remaining.

Here is what Georgia’s first seven possessions of the second half looked like – turnover, turnover, missed three, turnover, turnover, turnover, missed three.

The Dawgs only committed 6 turnovers in the entire first half, yet in three and a half minutes they committed 5.

Kentucky scored on 6 of their first 7 possessions of the second half, and by the time Leslie got his dunk the lead was up to 52-38.

Georgia never recovered.

Kentucky won the game 80-68.

When asked about the Dawgs second half effort, Trey Thompkins had this to offer, “”We got a little complacent and lazy and didn’t come out ready to fight for another 20 minutes. And they did.”

If you are playing a team of Kentucky’s caliber, coming out “complacent” or “lazy” is not really an option.

The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs was the play of Jeremy Price.  Price was not at all intimidated by Kentucky’s size inside, and he led the Bulldogs with 19 points and 6 rebounds.  This game would have been close to over before the half if not for the play by Jeremy Price.

Georgia’s two stars (Thompkins and Leslie) combined for 20 points on 8 of 26 shooting from the field.

The Dawgs are now 5-10 in the SEC, 13-15 overall.  Their next game is this Saturday at LSU.  It will be Georgia’s last chance at getting a true road win this season, and a critical game as far as the Bulldogs’ NIT effort (should Georgia lose to LSU they can just about say goodbye to any NIT hopes).

Sorry for the late post on this game…I didn’t get home from Athens till close to midnight, and the game overall didn’t sit that well (wasn’t too easy to write about).


6 thoughts on “Kentucky Defense Smothers Georgia

  1. I guess this was a little too big a stage for our young Dawgs. J Price stepped up but that was about it. Lets take it out on LSU and get a road win.


  2. In his blog, Mark Bradley talked about how he thought the dawgs were in trouble with 1:30 left in the first half because Leslie and Ware were gassed with hands on their hips at every opporunity. I saw that too. When we committed our third turnover in a row early in the second half, i turned to my companion and said “We may have just given the game away!” True, we had one good run in the second half–but were down by 19 at its start–way too far to be down to a team as talented as Kentucky. can you imagine what KY would be like next year if everyone (including Patterson) stayed in school.
    One thing that amazed me (and I could be wrong) is that we looked to be in a man defense some of the time. That is braver than I would be against this KY team.


    1. Kentucky is loaded with talent. When Fox sent in subs EA, Barnes or Ajax, Williams (let me preface that I do like these guys) it’s just not even fair to put them up against Kentucky’s lineup which is full of 4-star and 5-star recruits.

      You are right though…that thing was over pretty quickly in the second half.

      The first half sure was exciting though wasn’t it? I can’t remember a game at the Steg in recent years with that much energy running through the crowd.


  3. I think that they could get knocked out earlier than that if they go up against a team with some athletes…if UK is cold from the outside or Big Cuz gets in foul trouble, a Big East or Big 12 team could knock them off in round 2.


  4. If Kentucky shoots like they did last night, they’ll go deep into the dance.
    Last time I looked at the board in Stege, they were over 50% with a decent percentage of threes.


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