Some nights you have it, and some nights you don’t.
Last night, the Georgia Bulldogs (14-11; 8-5) certainly did not have it in Knoxville, where they fell 67-48 to the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Dawgs – a team that came into this game leading the SEC in rebounding – could not match the Vols’ physicality on the blocks. Tennessee won the battle on the boards by a count of 37-30, and they scored over half of their points (34) in the paint.
The main culprit of all of this inside dominance was Jarnell Stokes, who abused Georgia for 20 points and 11 rebounds.
After trailing Tennessee 34-28 at the half, Georgia managed to hang around for the most part to begin the second half of play. The Dawgs cut the Vols’ lead to 45-38 following a free throw from Nemanja Djurisic with 12:18 remaining.
Tennessee responded, however, with a 12-5 run that sent their advantage to 57-43 with only 8:00 minutes left in the game. This spurt was enough to put UGA away, giving the Vols their 7th conference win of the season.
Offensively, Georgia was led by Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier, who finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Frazier netted 10 of his 12 in the first half, providing Coach Mark Fox a much-needed spark off the bench in a game where Charles Mann was a non-factor.
Mann, who had been averaging nearly 17 points a night in the previous six SEC contests, was held to just 5 points in this one.
The Dawgs entered last night’s game shooting almost 30 free throws a night, but against the Vols Georgia took just 11 shots from the charity stripe, converting 8 of them.
The loss snaps UGA’s four-game winning streak, but the Dawgs still have a hold on 3rd place in the conference, thanks to a road win at Ole Miss by the Kentucky Wildcats.
Georgia hits the road again this weekend to take on South Carolina, a team that has been playing better as of late. The Gamecocks have won their past 2 home games, and they have been winners of 3 or their last 4 in Columbia.