Beep, beep, beep, beep.
That’s the sound of the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team reversing into the SEC Tournament.
The Dawgs offense picked up right were it left off in the second half against Kentucky…stumbling.
Georgia got its first field goal against LSU on a Jeremy Price dunk with 14:52 remaining in the first half to put them up 4-2. After falling behind to the Tigers 2-0, Georgia was able to (slowly) go on a 9-2 run to put them up by 7 points with 12:52 left in the half.
Then LSU coach Trent Johnson switched his team into a zone defense that completely took the Dawgs out of their offense. The Tigers went on a 12-5 run of their own and tied the game at 14 apiece with 8:17 remaining.
The first half showcased some pretty horrendous shooting by both teams. Georgia finished the half hitting only 36.4% from the field, but LSU wouldn’t be outdone, knocking down a mere 26.9% from the floor.
The teams went into the break locked up at 20-20.
The second half featured more poor shooting, and Georgia continued to struggle with LSU’s zone defense. With 7:37 remaining in the game, Travis Leslie had scored only 1 point. Leslie (along with the other Georgia guards) was struggling to penetrate the Tiger zone and draw defenders off the dribble.
Coach Fox made a nice adjustment with Leslie, moving him down low to the baseline so he could follow the ball – Leslie scored 6 points in the second half (he finished with 7).
Despite the poor offensive play by Georgia, they still had the ball with the game tied 48-48 with under a minute to play. Dustin Ware brought the ball up the court, and then attempted to make a lob pass to Jeremy Price from well outside the three-point line…the ball sailed out-of-bounds.
LSU junior guard Bo Spencer knocked down a jumper on the next possession to put his Tigers up 50-48 with only 19 seconds left in the game.
The Dawgs moved the ball across half court and then called timeout to set up a play with 11 ticks on the clock.
Georgia in-bounded the ball and got it into Leslie’s hands on the right wing. It looked like Fox had instructed Leslie to get the ball to Thompkins on the block, but he couldn’t make the entry pass. Instead, Leslie dumped it to Jeremy Price in the middle of the floor and Price took a turnaround jumper from just inside the three-point line that clanked off the rim.
And the Dawgs dropped another game on the road, making them 0-11 overall and 0-8 in the SEC in games played away from the Steg.
Tasmin Mitchell led the Tigers with 20 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, ending his career at home as a winner.
Georgia finished the game shooting 36.5% from the field, and turned it over 16 times (Travis Leslie led the team with 6).
Trey Thompkins led Georgia with 19 points and 16 rebounds, yet he made only 7 of 23 from the floor. However, despite Trey’s poor shooting, he was the only Bulldog who looked comfortable with the ball in his hands and taking it to the basket.
For the second straight game Leslie looked a bit out of it on offense, and Ware and McPhee were pretty much non-factors (although to McPhee’s credit he did grab 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists).
The Dawgs finished the season 5-11 in the SEC and 13-16 overall. The NIT looks like it is now out of reach.
This was LSU’s second SEC conference win of the season.
The loss to the Tigers leaves Georgia with a lot of questions as they head into their opening round game against Arkansas next Thursday:
With an 0-11 road record, can the Dawgs realistically hope to close out a conference tournament game in Nashville?
Which Travis Leslie will be traveling to the tournament? Over the past two games, Leslie has made 7 of 22 field goals and scored a total of 15 points. Georgia cannot expect to go far in the tournament without Leslie’s offense.
What will the team’s confidence level be like riding a two-game losing streak?