Dawgs knock Missy State off NCAA bubble, advance to the second round

Following Jalen Steele’s fourth three-pointer, Georgia’s lead, which had once been 13 points, had evaporated to just a 60-57 advantage with 3:50 remaining in the game.

On the ensuing possession, Donte Williams shot missed, but thankfully for Georgia, Nemanja Djurisic was in position to secure his fifth offensive rebound and finish the stick-back.

Nemi then got fouled by Mississippi State after forcing a steal, and he calmly stepped up to the free throw line and knocked down both shots, putting his team up 64-57 with only 1:38 left.

Georgia was able to secure the victory from this point, walking away from the first round of the SEC tournament with a 71-61 win over Mississippi State (their second of the season).

Neme, who recorded his second 10+ rebounding effort in as many days, finished the game with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

He was one of five Bulldogs to end the game in double-figures with Gerald Robinson, Jr. leading the charge with 23 points.  Robinson once again played like an All-SEC guard, despite not receiving any post-season conference accolades.

Georgia found themselves in a bit of a hole in the first half after allowing State to go on an 18-8 run that put them up 23-15 with 7:06 remaining before intermission.

However, the Dawgs responded with a 16-6 run of their own, enabling them to take a 31-29 advantage into the break.

The game was knotted up pretty tight to start the second half until senior Dustin Ware, who was held scoreless in the first half, decided to start contributing in a big-time manner.  Ware caught fire from the outside, canning 3 threes and scoring 11 points in less than five minutes, stretching his team’s lead to 49-36 at the 11:53 mark.  The senior guard ended up with 13 points on the night.

Defensively, Georgia was able to once again lock Missy State down, limiting them to under 39% from the floor and just 29% from beyond the arc.  The Dawgs‘ interior defense was particularly strong, holding Arnette Moultrie and Renardo Sidney to a combined 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting from the floor.

MSU senior guard Dee Bost, who wound up with only 10 points, shot a frigid 2 of 9 from beyond the arc (which marks the 4th game this year his team has lost when he has tossed up 8 or more three-point attempts).

Congratulations to Coach Mark Fox and the Georgia basketball team for putting forth an excellent effort in tonight’s game as well as getting themselves into the second round of the SEC tournament, where they will meet the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Vandy swept the Bulldogs this year for the second consecutive season, largely in part due to the performance of junior All-SEC guard John Jenkins.  Jenkins has been somewhat of a Dawg-killer throughout his career, averaging nearly 21 points in games against UGA and enabling Vandy to rack up six-straight wins over Georgia.

If Coach Mark Fox’s team wants to keep the momentum rolling into the weekend then they must find a way to contain the Vandy guard.

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24 thoughts on “Dawgs knock Missy State off NCAA bubble, advance to the second round

  1. A couple more thoughts on Vandy and the SEC:

    1) I really hope Coach Fox tries to run a little more man defense against the ‘Dores tonight so that they can keep someone close to John Jenkins at all times. Also, Donte Williams has progressed over the season into a pretty strong defensive post player, and I think he is quite capable of guarding Festus Ezeli in the paint one-on-one.

    2) I loved the way that GR2 was pressing the tempo against MSU right from the start – hopefully we will see more of the same tonight.

    3) How much of a slight is it to the SEC that it’s #2 team – Tennessee – is still sitting on the “Bubble”? The Vols finished 10-6 in conference and won 8 of their last 9 games.

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  2. great effort,well played offensive game, Coach Fox pulled all the right buttons last night. Neme was outstanding last night.

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  3. What a superb effort! Aside from a few silly turnovers, some missed FTs, and our normal misses on bunnies, we were outstanding. Each time the Maroons would mount a challenge someone different would step up and silence their large crowd. Gerald was the key but everyone else contributed as well. Early foul trouble had Donté and Marcus on the bench but Neme, Thorveus, and even Cannon jumped right in there.

    As for the Dores, they have had our number. We have played decent games with them but just haven’t been able to get over the hump. Many of the guys played fewer minutes than usual vs MSU, so hopefully fatigue won’t be an issue.

    As for the Vols, they had some dreadful non-conference losses B.S. (before Stokes). I would think the committee would be able to consider this even if not officialy laid out in the guidelines. Regardless, I will be cheering for Ole Miss-as their fans supported us vs. MSU-Go Dawgs!

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  4. The Monte Negro Express could not be stopped last night!

    Very encouraging that Ware hit some 3s.

    If we play like we did last night again tonight we will take Vandy down. ‘Dores have a history of flopping in the SEC tourney and I have always felt that the team that wins on Thursday has an advantage on Friday as the bye team has not played in the building.

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    1. 10pm ET…local channels vary but espn3 has it online if you can’t find it on tv. Tickets for tonight will be plentiful for anyone considering a road trip!

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  5. Hated to miss this one, but no TV. Great win; thanks for the description hoop. I too think we can win tonight and can hardly say how impressed I am with the continued development of Donte and Neme. Hoop, apparently you’ve given up on the possible recruitment of Tony Parker. I refuse to do so until an announcement is made …which, I guess, could come any day.

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    1. I haven’t totally given up on Tony Parker, but I’m trying to temper my expectations considering his other offers.

      If he does end up in Athens though, Georgia will be dancing next march for sure.

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      1. I live in Georgia down in the Broad River valley and can get absolutely NO over the air TV since the digital switchover (after getting 15 channels beforehand) Man that’s progress for ya.

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  6. One other point about last nighrt’s game. When Miss State cut the lead to 60-57, we fought harder. Through January, this team would have pretty much folded at that point. Now, they believe they can win—and that’s half the battle.

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  7. I agree about Tony Parker Hoops. I have had a gut feeling that he might shock the world and stay home. Obviously I could be wrong. And if he doesn’t come we are battling for an NIT spot again next year (which will likely be KCP’s last in Athens. And the cycle of doom continues!

    But for now we are still playing and playing well!

    One more thing…I don’t want to hear one more word about Marcus Thornton’s “lunchpail” until he learns to finish simple layups. My gosh he is so frustrating to watch. At a certain point if you are that bad offensively it doesn’t matter how hard you work on the other end, you are a liability. Hence we desperately need that one solid big guy to compliment Donte and Neme.

    COME ON TONY!

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    1. Oregon Dawg, your reference to the “lunchpail” cracked me up!

      Thornton’s offense is anemic, which is why it is best just to ignore it (I know the play that set you off – when he missed that easy layup on the reverse, right?). I find this strategy helps to keep the blood pressure lower while watching UGA basketball games.

      Anyhow, Neme has improved so much over the course of this year that I think after an off-season in the weight room he will be ready to take MT’s starting job next year.

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    2. The cycle of doom… Ha! I know how you feel. However I think the improvements this team has made with Neme and Donte are nothing short of amazing. With KCP and an off season improved healthy Thornton I expect this team to be on a bubble watch next year and an NIT lock even without someone like Parker.

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  8. Great effort. We have a team that can make a run in this thing. We could make a run to the finals if we play like we did last night. Hopefully UK gets upset in the next two days.

    Wish I could watch more. Spring break is at the worst time. Won’t be able to watch until Sunday if we somehow make it in.

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  9. I hope you are right Romans. I certainly agree that Donte and Neme have really come a long way and will continue to improve certainly. And I wouldn’t mind having Marcus as a 4th option, but we really need another guy down there.

    On another recruiting note, what does anyone think the chances are of us landing an Auburn signee like Jordan Price if the NCAA drops the hammer on them for this point shaving thing. I wouldn’t mind having another big physical guard for our constant 3 guard lineup next year.

    Thoughts Hoop?

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    1. It’s hard to say at this point what’s going to happen with Auburn.

      I have no idea why Jordan Price (or any GA recruit for that matter) would choose Auburn over the Dawgs in the first place for basketball. However, since he did, I feel like there must be something about UGA that doesn’t sit right with him.

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