The Missouri Tigers opted not to push the tempo against Georgia on Wednesday night, and the Dawgs obliged. For most of the game, Georgia seemed content to chew up shot clock on a majority of their possessions.
UGA was able to keep things within striking distance at the slower pace, but eventually the Dawgs’ inability to value the basketball led to their undoing. Georgia, who entered this game averaging over 15 turnovers per contest (270th in the nation), gave the ball to Missouri 19 times in Columbia. It is difficult for a team to maintain a half court game when they cannot keep the ball out of the other team’s hands.
Missouri looked as if they might pull away midway through the first half, with the Tigers pushing their lead to 13 points with six minutes left before the intermission. However, the Dawgs were able to head into the break trailing just 38-30 thanks to a 5 for 9 shooting performance from beyond the arc.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Georgia coaching staff had been harping on the fact that someone on the Bulldogs’ roster besides Kentavious Caldwell-Pope needed to begin scoring regularly. I doubt that any of them anticipated that Vincent Williams would be the player to step up and supplement the offense. Williams, who scored 13 points in the first half, finished with a career-best 23 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
While Georgia shot the ball very well in Columbia – 46% from the floor and 59% from beyond the arc – they were unable to keep the Tiger bigs off the offensive glass. Mizzou secured 12 offensive boards, led by Alex Oriakhi’s team-high of 8 rebounds to go along with his 13 points.
The Tigers had five players finish in double-figures, and they made 9 three-pointers to nearly match Georgia’s 10 from the perimeter.
For the Dawgs, KCP was the only player other than Williams to score in double-digits, pouring in 15 points (including 3 three’s).
Again, for Georgia to shoot the ball as well as they did against Missouri and still lose by 17 points is a real testament to this UGA team’s carelessness with the ball.
The Dawgs typically are not nearly as successful from the floor as they were tonight, and couple that with their turnover problem and UGA is only scoring on barely over 30% of their possessions this year.
The loss to Mizzou puts Georgia at 0-3 in the conference for the second-straight season.
The Dawgs will have two days to prepare for a Saturday evening home game against LSU.