Georgia Leaves LA with 63-59 Victory

The Georgia Bulldogs (5-5) did something on Saturday night that they haven’t done this season – they came from behind to win a game (it was the team’s first true road win of the year as well).

After heading into the break tied at 25-25, Southern Cal (4-7) outscored Georgia 22-14 ten minutes into the second half, opening up a 47-39 lead over the Dawgs.  The Bulldogs responded with a 12-4 run of their own, and after a Dustin Ware three-pointer the game was knotted up at 51-51 with just 4:38 remaining.

Kentavious-Caldwell Pope, who scored a career high 21 points on Saturday (as well as leading his team with 5 rebounds), showed a lot of maturity at the end of the game.  Pope committed a costly turnover with just over a minute left that resulted in a USC basket, cutting the Georgia lead to only one point.  On the ensuing possession however, he calming knocked down a huge three from the wing, putting his team up 60-56 with just 43 ticks left on the clock.  KCP also made a pair of clutch free throws with only 19 seconds left, keeping Southern Cal at bay and allowing Georgia to walk away with the 63-59 win.

The game was an overall excellent effort by the UGA basketball team, and it was refreshing to see the Dawgs play with so much heart after a series of underwhelming performances.

The guards carried Georgia on Saturday, combining for 57 of the team’s 63 points.  Pope and Ware both hit 4 three-pointers (Ware was 4-4), and the team finished 9 of 13 on their attempts from beyond the arc.  Defensively, Georgia’s guards were able to limit USC’s leading scorer, Maurice Jones, to just 11 points on 4 of 14 shooting from the floor.

Gerald Robinson, Jr. played one of his better games of the season, netting 17 points and committing merely 1 turnover.

The only negative to take away from the game was that the inside players were again invisible on Saturday night.  Georgia’s bigs combined for just 6 points, and they were outrebounded by a tally of 35-23.  UGA was almost nonexistent on the offensive glass, where they finished with only 3 boards.

I was happy to see Coach Mark Fox keep KCP and GR2 on the floor for nearly the entire game, playing his guards for 39 minutes and 36 minutes, respectively.

This game ended Georgia’s four-game losing streak, and it gave them their first true road victory of the season (as well as their first win over a Pac-12 opponent this year).

The Dawgs have four home games over the holiday break, and an opportunity to bolster their record to 9-5 heading into conference play.

After watching last night’s win, I’m thinking that this team may steal a few SEC games that they are not supposed to this season.

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8 thoughts on “Georgia Leaves LA with 63-59 Victory

  1. A good win because we did not fold or get desperate.Still, helpless in the paint-no rebounds and unable to make a layup by the big men. None of the big men are getting better. Waiting for Thornton to find himself- it is our only hope this year.

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    1. Agree about the lousy inside play. How many tip-ins and bunny shots can we miss….really! I am not holding out on Thornton. Donté has shown the most improvement this year although he was a non-factor in LA.

      I was pleasantly surprised with the number of Dawgs’ fans at the game. I could hear cheers of “Defense” coming from them in the second half. Let’s get back home and take a few before the Tide comes calling.

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  2. Great win on the road. This team can win in the SEC. The bigs will get better and we knew at the start that the guards were the hope for the team this year. On a side note I think KCP may be one of the best starting freshmen UGA has ever seen?

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  3. Nothing insightful to add other than some credit deserves to be given to Vincent Williams. He is a player that I NEVER thought we would see anything good out of but he has really turned into a good players for us. This makes me happy for two reasons.

    1. It makes me feel a lot better about next years team without Dustin and GR2. I did not feel good about handing over the reigns to a freshman point guard (who isn’t an all American type player). Having Vincent to rotate with Mann hopefully will give us a solid point guard next season. And…

    2. It makes me feel better about how terrible our big guys are this year. Honestly I get tired of hearing people lament about how terrible we are inside this season as if that is a surprise. When 3 star recruits are playing heavy minutes as freshman and sophomores it is not good. They aren’t KCP. They don’t have that kind of talent. Look at Jeremy Price his sophomore year and even Trey his freshman year. We can’t expect them to be all that good at the major college level right away. They aren’t blue-chippers. If we are going to win this year it’s going to have to be in spite of our big guys. But looking at a player like Vincent gives me hope for these big guys to continue to grow and get better over the next few years. Fox can coach and he can make guys better (Trey and Jeremy being prime examples).

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    1. You are right about Vincent Williams – he has really improved from last season. Honestly, I was worried he might transfer in the off-season with both Ware and GR2 coming back.

      I’m definitely happy he stuck around.

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      1. I checked out the team’s stats prior to the game Sat night. Was impressed by all of Vincent’s numbers. He is consistently good. I hope his playing time increases as a result.

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  4. Fox came to Georgia with a reputation for developing big men….would love to see some improvement out of these guys.

    Big take away from reading Hoop’s write up is Ware was 4 for 4 on 3s. That is how we can win.

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