Dawgs fail to defend home court, losing 66-63 to Ole Miss

Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Nemanja Djurisic each had three-point looks that would have tied the game in the waning seconds, but both players’ attempts came up a little short, just like the Dawgs, and Georgia fell to Mississippi by a score of 66-63.

After trailing for the majority of the game, the Georgia Bulldogs (10-9; 1-4) mounted a furious comeback in the final minute.  UGA trimmed a twelve-point Ole Miss lead down to three and had a chance to tie but it still wasn’t quite enough.

“We can’t just play behind the whole game and expect to win,” said senior guard Gerald Robinson, Jr., who played admirably, finishing the game with 19 points, 6 assists and 5 steals (and 0 turnovers).

Robinson hit a three with 9:20 left in the first half that tied the game (for the last time) at 20 apiece.  Unfortunately Georgia wouldn’t score again for nearly 5 minutes, enabling the Rebels to open up a 30-20 advantage with 4:27 remaining before the break.  This Georgia scoring drought was the turning point in the game for Ole Miss, and the Dawgs found themselves playing uphill for the last 24 minutes.

Georgia went on a run shortly after the start of the second half, and following one of Kentavious-Caldwell Pope’s 5 three-pointers the Rebels lead was cut to 36-30.  However, Ole Miss immediately responded with an 8-0 run of their own and three minutes later they were up by a tally of 44-30.

The Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize on a career-high 25-point effort from KCP, who went over 20 points for the second time this season in a conference game.

Ole Miss’s Terrance Henry was unstoppable for most of the afternoon, scoring 24 points (an SEC career best for him) and bringing down 10 rebounds.

Robinson and Pope were the only UGA players to finish in double-figures in a game that saw Georgia once again shooting the ball poorly from the floor as a team.  The Dawgs hit just 36.5% of their field goal attempts on Saturday, which is now the 10th time this season that Georgia has failed to eclipse the 40% mark from the floor.

Senior Dustin Ware’s conference play struggles continued against the Rebels as he failed to score, missing all 7 of his field goal attempts.

Ole Miss came into the game as the SEC’s best rebounding team and yesterday was no different as they snagged 43 boards to UGA’s 32.

Following this loss Georgia falls to 1-4 in conference play with a date with soon to be #1 Kentucky on the horizon for Tuesday night in Athens.

The Dawgs were fresh off of a big home win over Tennessee on Wednesday, a team that just toppled #11 Connecticut in Knoxville yesterday.  However, any momentum that Georgia might have gained from that victory was salted away in Saturday’s defeat.

One scary thought to leave all you UGA fans with – KCP is now averaging 16.6 points per game through his first five SEC contests.  As he continues to flourish in conference play one starts to wonder if he might consider jumping to the NBA after his freshman season.  The Dawgs lose senior leader Gerald Robinson after this year, and I hope that Pope is willing to return to what’s left of this Georgia team for the 2012-2013 season.