Charles Mann may not have started the game against George Washington, but he certainly made the plays his team needed at the end of the night to help them finish it.
On a critical Georgia possession with under 2 minutes to play and his team up by 3 points, Mann penetrated into the heart of the Colonial zone, drawing defenders and then dishing to a wide open Nemanja Djurisic who finished the play for 2 UGA points.
Following another George Washington miss, Mann once again brought the ball down the floor, attacked the zone and delivered another pass to Djurisic on the block – Neme finished the basket despite being fouled on the shot, giving the Dawgs a 46-39 advantage with only 1:22 remaining in the game. These two possessions sealed the Colonials fate, and Georgia walked out of Stegeman with a 52-41 win, their fourth in a row.
Coach Mark Fox’s team secured the victory on Friday night despite playing arguably their sloppiest game of the year. The Bulldogs committed a season-high 23 turnovers, which enabled George Washington to hang around even though the Colonials only managed to hit 24% of their field goal attempts. Georgia shot nearly 49% from the floor on Friday, yet their inability to value the basketball allowed the Colonials to nearly pull off the road upset.
Even after the Colonials began the second half with a 1 for 11 shooting performance from the floor, Georgia was only able to muster a 32-28 lead with a little over 12 minutes remaining.
Fortunately for the Dawgs, Neme was able to continue his offensive onslaught in the win over the Colonials, pouring in 17 points to go along with 5 rebounds. This game came off the heels of Nemanja’s 21-point effort against FAMU last Saturday. Djurisic has been playing some inspired basketball as of late, and his improved offensive presence gives Kentavious Caldwell-Pope some much-needed support in the scoring department.
Although Mann had a pair of nice plays near the end of regulation, he struggled for most the night, managing only 3 points while committing a team-leading 5 turnovers.
KCP made his typical contribution – 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
George Washington, a team that entered the game expecting to out rebound the Dawgs, lost the battle of the boards to UGA by a tally of 37 to 27. A big reason for Georgia’s success on the glass can be attributed to the efforts by John Florveous, who led all players with 10 rebounds.
The Bulldog defense frustrated the Colonials’ leading scorer Isaiah Armwood for much of the night, limiting him to only 6 points on 3 of 10 shooting from the field. The only George Washington player to finish in double-figures was freshman Kenny Larsen, who paced his team with 14 points.
Friday’s win over George Washington completes Georgia 2012-2013 non-SEC schedule, with the Bulldogs beginning conference play next Wednesday at Florida.
For a team that began the season 2-7, the Dawgs have to be one of the most satisfied sub-.500 teams in the nation.