Georgia keeps bursting bubbles, beats Kentucky 72-62

Georgia headed to a timeout after Kyle Wiltjer hit a three-pointer that cut the UGA lead to 50-47 with 7:47 left in the game. For the first time Thursday night, the Kentucky faithful were on their feet making noise in Athens. The Dawgs had held a 10-point advantage over the Wildcats a little over a minute before this break in the action, but that lead had been cut down to just a possession ball game.

This moment was the exact point in the game when Georgia was supposed to crumple under the pressure of this furious Kentucky onslaught.

Unfortunately for the Cats, Georgia chose to respond, reeling off 12 straight points and opening up a 62-47 advantage with less than four minutes remaining. Georgia would go on to win from here 72-62, possibly putting an end to Kentucky’s NCAA hopes.

UGA’s team defense was tenacious on Thursday, holding the Cats to only 37% from the floor and just 62 points.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 6 points during Georgia’s critical 12-point run, finished the game with 24 points and 10 boards for his sixth double-double of the season.

While KCP was once again the floor general for the Dawgs, Coach Mark Fox received magnificent play from both Donte Williams and Nemanja Djurisic.

Williams, who was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line for the first time in his young life, contributed 10 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Donte played extremely strong inside for his team tonight, and his ability to make free throws may have been the difference in the game.

Neme snagged 6 boards himself, and he also netted 12 points, including a pair of monster three-pointers in the second half that helped UGA preserve their lead over Kentucky.

Credit Mark Fox for the turn around that this team has undergone right before our eyes this season. Against Kentucky, UGA committed just 10 turnovers; over the past three games, Georgia has given the ball away only 28 times, which is a major improvement for a team that was leading the conference with over 18 turnovers a contest earlier in the year.

The Dawgs followed up the Tennessee win with another dominant effort, and at 9-8 in the SEC they will travel to Alabama on Saturday with a chance to challenge for the 7-seed in this year’s league tournament.

One thing is for sure, this team will be ready to make some noise in Nashville next week.

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7 thoughts on “Georgia keeps bursting bubbles, beats Kentucky 72-62

  1. It seemed like everyone contributed and it just seemed that we made every clutch free throw although I have not seen any stats from the line. I think we missed 4 the whole night. This team while it hasn’t always played smart but has played hard in almost all the games I’ve seen!

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  2. It seems like there is a direct correlation between two things and Dawg victories.

    1. No turnovers/Smart play from our freshman

    2. Impactful performance from Nemi.

    When we get both of those it does not seem to matter how KCP shoots.

    This team has always defended well, but being able to make our free throws and scoring 70 points two games in a row has me excited for what we can do in the SEC Tourney.

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  3. As a critic of CMF, I have to give him an “A” for coaching the last two months. But a “C-” for the first two months. No point in revisiting that period. He has corrected the turnover and free throw problems. Nemi and Donte are playing like we expected them to play. Mann is the most improved-hope he can play Saturday. I thought the season was lost. Obviously, CMF did not. Actually, a fun team to watch.

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  4. Yes, they are fun to watch again. I could “kind of” see it coming when we were 1-4 in January with the emergence of Charles Mann. Suddenly, our offense became so much more diversified than simply throwing the ball around the zone and jacking up shots in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock. Two other things made a difference, IMO. first, the emergence of the other two freshman and better play out of the bigs, namely Neme and Donte. Second, much better defense out of almost everyone, including KCP.

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  5. I also have been a critic, but the increased desire to attack the rim and the better use of the flex cuts off the baseline from big to big have dramatically upped our free throw attempts. You have to get the line to win, and we have done that the last month. And cutting down on turnovers has also helped., amazing as it is- I still believe no SEC team will get to the sweet 16, but with a little luck we could have been the number two seed next week

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