On Friday night, the Georgia Bulldogs made the Troy Trojans look every bit the part of a team that was projected to finish near the bottom of the Sun Belt Conference this season. The Dawgs got the ball to the rim just about any time they wanted, whether in the half court set or on the run, helping them cruise to an 82-60 home win.
The game was really only close for about the first seven minutes, which was due mainly to the fact that it began tied at zero. Neme Djurisic, who finished with 17 points, put UGA up 22-11 on a three-pointer with 13:47 remaining in the first half. Several plays later, Marcus Thornton, who also netted 17, threw down a dunk that gave the Dawgs a 27-16 advantage; Georgia’s lead stayed above double-digits for the remainder of the game.
From the opening tip, Troy looked completely outmatched in this one. The Trojans defense was just plain pitiful, allowing Georgia players to routinely coast towards the basket virtually uncontested. Mark Fox’s team scored an unprecedented 56 points in the paint, nearly 70% of the team’s offense on the night.
The Bulldogs enjoyed their second consecutive game with balanced scoring as Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines added 14 and 12, respectively, to compliment Thornton and Djurisic’s offensive production.
The lone bright spot for Troy was Wesley Person, whose NBA lineage includes his father Wesley Person, Sr., and his uncle Chuck Person, also known as “The Rifleman”. Against the Dawgs, Junior led his team with 20 points in the losing effort.
I will say that while it is sometimes difficult to judge the level of play of a team when going against a lesser opponent, Georgia’s defense did look quite stifling tonight. The Dawgs were quick to collapse on the ball when it got into the post, and they held Troy to under 37% for the game from the floor. In addition, UGA snagged 43 boards to go along with 11 steals and 9 blocks.
The Dawgs have a game this Sunday against Florida Atlantic before they prepare for a big time showdown with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Madison Square Arena next week.