The Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) did exactly what they needed to do on Tuesday night against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers – they came out intense on defense and controlled the paint (on offense and defense).
The Dawgs definitely deserve praise for their defensive effort last night.
The Bucaneers came into the game averaging 80.5 points per game, and they were shooting 48% from the field and an astounding 39.4% from beyond the arc as a team. The strength of this team this season has been its outside shooting.
However, Georgia‘s man defense in the first half was smothering, limiting the Bucs to just 20 points at the break. Georgia held Southern to merely 25% from the field and only 18.2% from three-point range. And to add insult to injury, Georgia hosted a “Block Party” in the first half as well, rejecting five Buccaneer shots (Georgia finished the game with 9 blocks).
Charleston Southern tried to trip Georgia at the start of this game by coming out in a match-up zone to start the game – that didn’t work.
Georgia took advantage of its height advantage and pounded the ball in the paint, with Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price combining for 28 of the Georgia’s 41 first-half points. Georgia finished the game with an unbelievable 46 points in the paint, with Leslie leading the team with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
In continuing with the height advantage discussion, it should be mentioned that Georgia dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Bucs 45-34. Georgia did a great job of limiting this Bucs team to just one shot on offense in the first half (which happened quite often since the Bucs were ice-cold).
Following a 10-0 Georgia run, Charleston Southern took a timeout with 12:43 left before the break and the Dawgs up 18-6. From that point, Georgia never looked back.
Georgia built up a 41-20 lead at the half, and won the game 70-55 with everyone except for Matt Bucklin getting at least 5 minutes of playing time in the second half.
This game was over right away, which was exactly what the doctor ordered for this team’s confidence. After a near let-down in Macon last week, the Dawgs needed a nice blowout win to get back on track before the SEC season begins.
Georgia has now won seven straight games, and they now boast a 6-0 home record.
Georgia plays one more game before 2011 – Eastern Kentucky – and then the real season begins for this team.