Ware’s Dawgs Sink Jackets 73-72

From the twitter account of ESPN’s Andy Katz – “Georgia with late possession win over rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta. That’s the type of win road win UGA should have to be taken seriously.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

After sleepwalking through the first half of last night’s game against Georgia Tech (4-4), the Dawgs (6-2) woke up behind a barrage of Dustin Ware three-pointers to secure Georgia‘s first win at Alexander Memorial Colesium in 10 years.

Ware hit 7 of his 9 three-point attempts last night and finished with 21 points along with 6 assists, including the game-winner that put his Dawgs up 73-70 with just 18 seconds remaining.

Georgia Tech had the ball with 11 seconds left and an opportunity to tie the game, but Glen Rice, Jr. elected to take the lay-up instead, cutting the Georgia lead to 73-72 with just 6.8 seconds remaining in the game.

The Dawgs then in-bounded the ball to Gerald Robinson, Jr. – GR2 is so fast with the ball that he nearly got away from the Tech defenders and ran out the clock himself.  However, he was fouled with just 4.5 seconds remaining and managed to miss both free throws – the only silver lining here is that there were only 2.8 seconds left after the Jackets were able to run down his second miss and call timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Brian Oliver elected to throw a hail mary pass that was intercepted by Georgia’s Travis Leslie  and the game was officially over.

The importance of Georgia‘s sharp perimeter shooting cannot be stated enough.  Sherrard Brantley had his best game to date as a Dawg, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc and finishing with 9 points.  Brantley hit back-to-back three’s during a crucial stretch in the second half, giving Georgia‘s its first lead at 48-47 with 12:10 remaining. He then answered a Brian Oliver three on the ensuing possession to put the Dawgs back on top 51-50 at the 11:36 mark.  With both Travis Leslie and GR2 dealing with foul trouble, Brantley was thrust into the difficult role of guarding Tech’s Iman Shumpert in the second half.   Brantley stepped up and did a nice job with Shumpert, limiting him to just 7 points in the second half (and maybe wearing him down – Shumpert had to sit the game’s final minutes dealing with leg cramps).

The Jackets started the game with a 2-3 zone that stymied the Dawgs on offense for a majority of the first half.  The Dawgs shot just 40% from the field and turned it over 5 times – Trey had 3 of those first-half turnovers and just 6 points.  Thompkins struggled to find offense against the Tech zone, with defenders collapsing on him every time he touched the ball.

The Dawgs had a seven-minute stretch in the first half in which they scored only one field goal, enabling the Jackets to build a 31-21 lead with just 2:17 left before the break.

Fortunately for Georgia, they played pretty tough defense which kept the game within reach – trailing 35-29 at the half.

The second half was a different story.

Ware and Brantley buried a combined six three-point shots, forcing Paul Hewitt to put his team in a man-to-man defense.  Georgia Tech’s Paul Oliver and Daniel Miller were no match for Thompkins, as Trey torched the Jackets for 15 second-half points – he finished with 21 points and 6 rebounds.

In the second half, the Dawgs shot an improved 48.4% from the field, and they made 7 of 11 from beyond the arc.

It is also worth noting that Georgia only turned the ball over TWICE in the second half, and just seven times in the game.  This shows a lot of maturity from Fox’s team, committing only seven turnovers playing on the road in a hostile environment.

And how about the resiliency of this Dawgs team?

When the Jackets went up 70-65 following a dunk by Daniel Miller with only 2:14 left in the game, it looked as if this one was slipping away.

But Gerald Robinson calmly guided his team’s offense and fed a beautiful entry pass to Trey – Thompkins finished the play plus the free throw to bring Georgia within two.  Following a nice Georgia defensive stand, GR2 took the ball to the basket and finished an amazing left-handed finger-roll, tying the game at 70 apiece.  And then (as we all are well aware) came the GR2 dish to Ware for the big three that gave Georgia the win.

So in the game’s final two minutes, Robinson led the Dawgs with 2 assists and a field goal.

Gerald Robinson finished the game with 11 points and 6 assists, and at this point, it looks like GR2 might be unguardable off the dribble.  When teams show Georgia zone in the future, I’d really like to see GR2 become a little more selfish in attacking the zone himself.  It’s obvious that he likes getting his teammates involved in the offense, but I think his penetration will force teams to play more man against Georgia.

This was a great win for Georgia for so many reasons – beating the in-state rival, beating an ACC team, winning on the road, recruiting, etc.

After going 0-11 in true road games last season, Coach Fox’s team is now 2-0 this season in games played at the opponent’s venue.

Watching the Dawgs take this game, and then getting to listen to the Tech fans grumble about Paul Hewitt all the way to the car made this event well worth the $30 I paid for the ticket.

And finally, Coach Mark Fox’s team has now won two in a row against the Jackets.

So I ask you Dawgs fans: Who runs this state?

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12 thoughts on “Ware’s Dawgs Sink Jackets 73-72

  1. Great win last night. Didn’t see a whole lot of people in red and black there (TV angles showed only a smattering). But the team sure sucked it up in the second half, especially after Tech established a 5-point lead with barely two minutes to go. There seems to be a toughness to this team that wasn’t always apparent last year (and having robinson surely helps in that regard).
    Now two observations. Robinson has to become a better foul shooter. Those two misses at the end of the game could have proved ruinous (and he only had to hit one of them to pretty much ice the game). Second, I wish Trey would ditch the hesitation jumper in which he shoots on the way down. He got two or three of those stuffed in his face last night because ,by hesitating, he gives defenders time to adjust to what he was doing. Why not shoot the rock at the height of one’s jump as we are all taught to do in high school. The hesitation shot may look cool, but there are few people in college basketball who can block Trey if he shoots at the top of his jump, whereas even pedestrian big men can the way he is shooting now.

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    1. Robinson’s FT shooting woes are bizarre – he’s currently at just 53.6% from the stripe on the season.

      However, look at his FT shooting from his days at Tenn St:

      Freshman – 73.2%
      Sophomore – 77.2%

      So he is a good FT shooter – he’s just in a major funk right now.

      Hopefully he snaps out of it, because I agree with you – the Dawgs can afford to have their point guard and best ball-handler be a liability at the line (especially near the end of games).

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  2. Big wins against UAB and Tech! That 11-2 mark going into conference play sure looks like a legit possibility now.

    Ware really showed what an outside threat could do for this team. I wish we had more consistency from out there.

    The team’s still not looking all that polished yet. Hopefully some games against some cupcakes should help get them settled before SEC play. Tech sucks! Go Dawgs!

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  3. Fired up for this team. Even though neither wins were over particularly good teams, 2 road wins is a solid start for this team. If we take care of these games we will be solidly favored in between now and the SEC schedule, we will be 11-2 when Kentucky rolls into town.

    11-2 non conference + 8-8 SEC record + 1 SEC tourney win should put us on the good side of the bubble.

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      1. Yea, its always a little silly to project so far out but I couldn’t resist.

        The SEC East looks extremely strong this year so going 5-5 or even 4-6 wouldn’t kill our tourney chances. I like our odds of putting up a 3-3 or 4-2 record against the West.

        Bottom line, I feel we will enter the SEC tournament with a very manageable scenario to be dancing.

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  4. Great win for the dawgs the other night. Brantley I thought was the MVP for what he brought off the bench, valuable minutes. I think Vincent Williams’ time is going to greatly diminish. Thornton looked good in spots, Price needs to establish himself on the inside on defense, I know it is tough to get him the ball against a zone, especially when Trey is getting shadowed from the front and backside, but Jeremy is letting his lack of touches affect his defensive play- not blocking out and not rotating off the weak side. I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago about GR2 thinking less and just playing- we saw evidence of that, especially on that last posession. This was a great win, the kind of win we would not have gotten in the last several years. Of course, being on the road one, but the manner in which we kept battling and attacking. Go DAWGS.

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