Dawgs pull away from Tigers for 67-58 conference victory

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s body language last night gave the impression that he was tired of all the losing and REALLY wanted a win – hand-clapping between possessions, celebrating with teammates during timeouts, etc.

Though KCP finished with a game-high 22 points, his defense may have been the ultimate reason that Georgia (7-10; 1-3) wound up on top on Saturday.

With the Dawgs up 61-56 and less than 90 seconds remaining, LSU had the ball and a chance to make it a one-possession game. Pope would have none of it however, taking the ball from the Tiger guard for his 6th steal of the evening. On the ensuing possession, Vincent Williams was fouled, made both free throws and UGA found itself leading 63-56 with only 50 seconds left. At this point, the game was out of reach for the team from Baton Rouge, and Georgia would walk out of Stegeman with a 67-58 win – their first SEC win of the season.

LSU came into this contest with a bit of a turnover problem – giving it away nearly 18 times a game in conference play – and Saturday was no different as the Tigers handed the ball to the Dawgs 21 times. UGA capitalized on LSU’s carelessness, converting those turnovers into 19 points.

In his post-game conference, Coach Mark Fox praised his team’s defense, which limited LSU to just 36% from the floor. The Tigers’ 58 points marked their second-lowest offensive output of the year thus far.

The UGA bigs had trouble containing Johnny O’Bryant III – who ended up with 16 points and 14 boards – but Georgia did manage to corral the LSU backcourt for much of the game.

For Georgia, the only other player to score in double-digits was junior Donte Williams, who chipped in 14 points, 5 rebounds and a blocked shot in what was definitely his biggest game of the year.

While getting off the snide and securing that first SEC win must feel really good to this UGA team, the game with LSU was not played flawlessly. Once again, Georgia struggled mightily to handle a full-court press, turning the ball over 16 times last night. The Dawgs host the #10 Gators in Athens on Wednesday in a game that will certainly feature a lot of full-court pressure from Florida.

The victory over LSU puts UGA in a four-way tie at 1-3 with South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Georgia has a very difficult week ahead of them with the aforementioned match-up with the Gators and then a road trip to College Station to play Texas A&M. However, if the Dawgs could steal one of those games, they could put themselves in a position to get back to .500 since the next two would be against Auburn and Carolina.

Funny how a win can serve to restore hope.

6 thoughts on “Dawgs pull away from Tigers for 67-58 conference victory

  1. Great win! Donte has gotten a lot better in the past two weeks. Diving on the floor, really being aggressive inside. I’m loving the effort in the last few games from him. It seems like he has played a lot harder since he was suspended. He is also shooting free throws better which is big since he gets fouled a lot. We are so much better when Donte is active and aggressive.

    Mann is a really good passer. When he develops an outside shot he is going to be tough to stop. Overall, it was great to see the guys with smiles on their faces. It gives them some momentum to at least play Florida close…which would be a win in my book for this team.


    1. Mann made a beautiful entry pass in the second half. If he could just be a bit more careful with the ball (especially late in games)…I’m sure that will improve over time, though.


      1. I like V. Will and Mann being on the court at the same time – it gives UGA two ball-handlers, and with Mann and KCP’s respective heights it doesn’t put the Dawgs at much of a size disadvantage as long as a couple of the bigs are in there too.


      2. Jerry I agree about this being Florveous’s best game. He mostly played very well when he was in there. I think we’ll see Mann and Vince playing together a bunch against a pressing Florida. We’ll work hard against the press in Tuesday’s practice I’d bet–and then it would be just like Donovan to know that we will be doing this and lay back to exploit other weaknesses (unless he really needs to press).


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