Abysmal shooting performance sinks Dawgs at Auburn

The Georgia Bulldogs (10-11; 1-6) shot 13 of 52 from the floor on Wednesday night against Auburn.  Again, the Dawgs took 52 field goal attempts, yet made just 13 of them.

As you might have guessed based upon this bit of information, Georgia did not come away from Auburn Arena with a win.  Rather, they sputtered and stumbled their way to another conference loss, falling to Auburn 59-51.

The Dawgs offense was horrific as they attempted to attack the Auburn zone by swinging the ball around the perimeter and hoisting up three-pointers.  Even though this strategy wasn’t working for Georgia, it didn’t stop them and by the end of the game the Bulldogs had taken 22 shots from beyond the arc (connecting on just 6 of them).

Coach Mark Fox’s team looked as if they had never encountered a zone defense before tonight, which is odd considering how much zone the Dawgs have played this season (don’t they see this in practice?).

Despite Georgia’s horrendous performance they were still within reach late in the game due to an equally ineffectual offensive effort by Auburn.  The Tigers weren’t much better than the Dawgs from the field, making only 33.3% of their attempts.

The Bulldogs cut the Tiger lead down to 51-49 with only 52 ticks left following a Gerald Robinson lay-up off of a nice dish from Kentavious-Caldwell Pope.  Unfortunatley, Auburn came out of a 20-second timeout and executed a beautifully designed set play that ended with Kenny Gabriel scoring a basket and getting fouled by Marcus Thornton.  Gabriel made the free throw too, putting his team back up by 5 which all but secured the win for the Tigers.

Varez Ward and Kenny Gabriel were the scoring leaders for Auburn, finishing with 17 and 13, respectively.

Georgia actually got out to a decent start in this game, opening up a quick 5-0 lead to begin the first half.  The Tigers let nearly 7 minutes go by before they converted their first points of the game on a pair of free throws from Ward.  Auburn didn’t notch a field goal until Frankie Sullivan’s three-pointer with 10:45 remaining before the intermission that cut the Dawgs’ lead down to 9-7.

Georgia failed to capitalize on the Tigers’ early struggles and with 7:57 left in the half Auburn jumped ahead 12-10 on a three from Ward.

The Tigers completed a 22-3 run that helped them open up a 22-10 advantage with under 3 minutes remaining.  This stretch of basketball took the life out of the Bulldogs and signified the “point of no return” for Georgia in this game.

The only UGA players that performed at a level worth mentioning are Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Donte Williams.  GR2 led the Dawgs with a team-high 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.  Williams chipped in 9 points and 3 blocked shots, and he hauled in a game-high 8 boards.

Georgia is now 1-6 in the conference and clearly the worst team in the league.

The Dawgs head to Knoxville on Saturday night to take on a Tennessee team that Georgia somehow beat in Athens a few weeks ago.  Since that win however, the Bulldogs have dropped three straight SEC games.

Tonight’s loss leaves me wondering A) how bad can things get this year? and B) what direction is the program heading in?