The Georgia Bulldogs (7-5) return to the court Tuesday night to take on the Winthrop Eagles (4-8) of the Big South Conference. The game in Athens will mark the Eagles fourth consecutive road trip, losing the last two to Clemson and Western Michigan.
Winthrop lost their top two scorers from a year ago to graduation, and this year’s team is built around a backcourt that features seniors Andre Jones and Reggie Middleton. Jones is the Eagles leading point-getter at 18.3 per game, while hitting nearly 40% of his three-point attempts. Middleton, a preseason All-Big South Second Team selection, is the only other Eagle scoring in double-digits at 12.0 ppg – he also leads this team with 3.3 apg. Similarly to Georgia, Winthrop has struggled to establish any sort of offense in the paint, with Jones and Middleton providing almost 49% of the Eagles’ offense.
The Bulldogs – unlike Winthrop – have been thriving lately, riding a three-game win streak into Tuesday night’s game in Stegeman. Coach Mark Fox’s team has been hitting on all cylinders over the past three games, both offensively and defensively.
In the wins over Southern Cal, Mercer and Furman, the Dawgs have hit just under 47% from the floor and from beyond the arc Georgia has been on fire, making 23 of their last 42 three-point attempts. Not only has UGA been shooting the ball well, but they have been protecting it too, dishing out 38 team assists to only 25 turnovers.
Complementing the Dawgs’ recent offensive surge has been their lock-down team defense, limiting the last three opponents to a combined 36% shooting from the field. Georgia’s defense has been opportunistic as well, creating 20 steals during the current win streak.
A big reason for the Bulldogs’ recent successes as of late can be attributed to the much-improved play from seniors Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Dustin Ware, who are averaging 16.7 ppg and 10.3 ppg, respectively, over the past three games. GR2 has played under control, racking up 11 assists to just 5 turnovers, and he’s finally starting to look a preseason All-SEC Second Team selection.
Since being benched in favor of Vincent Williams, Ware has excelled in his role off the bench, knocking down 9 of his last 12 three-point attempts. Dustin, who is in dire need of a “heat check”, may have played his way back into Coach Fox’s starting five.
Georgia will be looking to extend their win streak to four games on Tuesday, which would be their longest of the season.