Georgia smothers Aggies in 52-46 win

The Georgia Bulldogs (12-11, 6-4) edged the Texas A & M Aggies 52-46 in Athens on Saturday in a game that lasted nearly two and a half hours, featuring 47 total fouls.

Anyone at the game yesterday that was hoping to see some offense surely left Stegeman a little disappointed. Both of these teams entered the game ranking 3rd and 4th in the SEC in team defense in conference games. Although, in a game where Georgia shot 32% from the floor and the Aggies managed to make only 24% of their field attempts, it was hard at times to decipher if we were watching really good defense or inept offense (or a little of both).

However, the Dawgs did secure the win – their fifth in a row – and even more impressively, Georgia won with out a single field goal from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. For the first time in his career at UGA, Pope failed to convert a shot from the floor. KCP, who was blanketed by Elston Turner for the entire game, managed only three field goal attempts, and he was just able to reach 10 points by the grace of 10 shots from the line. Fortunately for Pope (and the Dawgs), he was perfect from the line, helping him extend his double-figures scoring streak to 23 games on the year.

KCP’s inability to find shots on Saturday may have been a product of his efforts on the defensive side of the ball, where he held the Aggies leading scorer – Elston Turner – to just 2 field goals on 14 tries. Similarly to Pope, Turner scored the majority of his 13 points (9) from the free throw line.

For Georgia, the offensive stallion of the night was Nemanja Djurisic, who paced UGA with 13 points.

The Dawgs opened up a wide margin early in this game, building an 11-1 lead a little over five minutes into the first half following a Neme jumper. Georgia maintained its advantage for much of the half, taking a 25-16 lead into the intermission.

After the break, UGA pushed its lead to 30-18 with 15:45 remaining following a pair of free throws from Pope.

However, A & M point guard Fabyion Harris, who led all scorers with 17 points, ignited a ferocious Aggie run by hitting three shots from beyond the arc, and after a pair of free throws from J’Mychal Reese the Georgia lead had been cut to 35-32 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

With the Dawgs teetering on the brink of collapse, senior point guard Vincent Williams buried a three-pointer on the other end, shooting the UGA lead back up to 38-32.

Sherrard Brantley would then hit a three from the wing with 7:02 remaining, and Georgia was back on top 43-32.

From this point UGA was able to salt away the rest of the game from the free throw line, where Georgia shot an impressive 25-32 on the night (78%).

Other than some last-minute shenanigans from the officiating crew in the waning seconds, the Dawgs cruised to the 52-46 victory for the most part after the Brantley three-pointer.

Credit Vincent Williams though, who scored 7 points in 16 minutes, and for the second-straight game made a clutch shot for his team late in the second half.

After the game, Coach Mark Fox praised his team for becoming just that – a team. He pointed out that everyone chipped-in in some way on Saturday, and he really sounded proud of the way this Georgia squad enjoys playing with one another.

Winning 6 of 7 games can do that for a team.