Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs beat a quality Colorado Buffalo team 82-74 last night en route to their second win of the season.
The Dawgs came out red-hot, knocking down their first three shots from beyond the arc along with one of Jeremy Price’s patented three-point plays to build up an early 18-4 lead with 15:21 remaining in the first half.
Unfortunately, though, Gerald Robinson, Jr (GR2) picked up his second foul with 15 minutes left before intermission, and Coach Fox was forced to sit his starting point guard for the remainder of the half.
GR2 is definitely the “straw that stirs the drink” for this UGA offense. In his absence, Vincent Williams got some extended playing time (8 minutes) in which he managed to shoot 0-3 from the field and commit 2 turnovers. Williams still looks somewhat out of control when he has the ball, and seems to dribble with his head down (a characteristic not normally present in PG’s).
Colorado was able to scratch and claw their way back into the game, and the teams went into the locker room knotted up at 33-33.
GR2, Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price all had big second halves, scoring 16, 12 and 10, respectively.
Robinson looked great once again last night, scoring 21 points and dishing out 6 assists. He’s getting his points from both the lane and outside, and he really put the team on his shoulders in the final four minutes of the game. Fox obviously feels confident putting the ball in his hands when it counts, and GR2 responded by taking it to the basket where he either scored or was fouled – he finished with 7 of the Dawgs‘ final 15 points. He is a real difference maker for this team – it is SO NICE to have a guard that can penetrate and create offensively. I know I said this after the last game, but this team is going to be VERY DANGEROUS once Thompkins gets back on the floor.
Travis Leslie (“The Elevator from Decatur“) was his usual self, scoring 19 points and nabbing 8 rebounds. I was surprised to learn that he only finished the game with 8 boards – it felt like he was grabbing everything off the rim in the first half. Leslie did a great job of moving without the ball and getting himself into positions for easy baskets.
Jeremy Price (“The Refrigerator from Decatur”) had another big game on offense, finishing with 17 points in just 17 minutes on the floor – he was in foul trouble for a majority of the night. Price is looking a lot more agile this season, and he’s doing a phenomenal job of finishing near the rim.
And how about big Chris Barnes? He’s certainly not going to be asked to host any Free Throw Clinics any time soon, but the big fella contributed 9 points and tied Leslie for a team-high 8 rebounds.
The rebounding effort as a whole was much better by the Dawgs last night as they won the battle 36-32, with 15 of them coming on the offensive end.
The only real flaws that I saw were the turnovers (18), the temporary defensive lapse in the first half after GR2 had to sit and the free throw shooting (27-43 as a team). However, it should be noted that Chris Barnes was 5-13 from the line, so the rest of the team shot 22-30 or 73.3%.
The Colorado guard tandem of Alec Burks and Cory Higgins scored a combined 36 points, but for the most part Georgia held the rest of the team in check.
This was a really good win for Georgia against what should end up being a pretty good team, and the Dawgs did it without their best player (again). It already appears that there is a much greater level of maturity on this team, as they have successfully closed-out two tight games (games that they may have lost last season).