The Georgia Bulldogs (2-0) turned in a much-improved shooting performance on Sunday night that enabled them to best a scrappy Bowling Green team. After shooting a dismal 33% from the floor against Wofford on Friday night, Georgia knocked down nearly 48% of its field goals in a 63-54 victory over the Falcons. The Dawgs looked more comfortable in their offense on Sunday, dishing out 16 assists as a team and scoring a number of baskets off of the back-screen cuts that are such an integral part of Coach Fox’s triangle offense.
The glaring weakness for this Bulldog team last night was on the boards, where Georgia got out-rebounded by a tally of 43-28. The Dawgs extended their lead over the Falcons to double-digits at five different times throughout this game, however, they yielded 19 offensive rebounds to BG, which led to 16 second-chance points and essentially kept them in the game
Georgia scored 5 quick points after the intermission, pushing the lead to 38-22, which was their largest of the game. But Bowling Green wouldn’t go away, and after a basket and a free throw from BG guard Dee Brown the Falcons had narrowed the gap to 53-48. The Bulldogs canned 10 of 14 free throws in the games final two minutes though, allowing them to keep the Falcons at bay en route to the Dawgs’ second victory.
Poor rebounding aside, Georgia did turn in a nice defensive effort, limiting Bowling Green to just 37.1% from the floor. For the second consecutive night, the Dawgs played intense man defense and held another opponent under 60 points.
Gerald Robinson carried the Bulldogs with 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. His 15 points tied him with Bowling Green’s Dee Brown for the game-high in scoring.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who dealt with foul trouble for most of the first half, scored all 11 of his points after the break. KCP looked comfortable with the ball in his hands during some of Georgia’s key second-half possessions, and he also hauled down a team-leading 6 rebounds.
Marcus Thornton turned in arguably the best performance of his young career, contributing 9 points along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Had he not struggled mightily from the free throw line (going 1 for 6), Thornton could have broken into double figures.
Rebounding will be an issue with this Georgia team since they feature a frontcourt that is undersized and inexperienced. However, the Dawgs’ performance last night was significantly better than what we saw in the season-opener against Wofford. Hopefully the trend of gradually improving will continue throughout the season for this young Bulldog team.
Their next opportunity to get better comes this Wednesday when the Dawgs host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in Stegeman.