Georgia makes it two in a row, downing Colorado at home

Georgia’s first out of conference win against a quality team was bittersweet.

The Dawgs knocked off the visiting Colorado Buffaloes 64-57 this afternoon, but UGA lost star guard Kenny Gaines to an apparent shoulder sprain – his return timetable is unknown at this point.

The Buffs, who were picked by CBS to finish 2nd in the Pac-12 in the preseason, looked as if they were still stuck on Mountain Time in this one.  The Dawgs held Colorado to under 37% from the floor, and they limited the Buffs to just 11% from beyond the arc.  The noon tipoff clearly did not serve to enhance Colorado’s shooting.

Georgia established control of this game during the final 4 minutes of the first half, when the Dawgs reeled off 12 straight points to break a 22-22 tie, taking a 34-22 advantage into the break.  Georgia got back-to-back three-pointers from Neme Djurisic and J.J. Frazier to close out the half.

The Buffs would start the second half with a 3-minute scoring drought, meaning that Colorado went for more than 7 minutes without a point.  Asia Booker, who led all scorers with 20 points, broke the spell with a lay-up that cut the Dawgs’ lead to 38-24 with 17:02 remaining.

Minutes later, UGA would lose Gaines to injury, leaving Coach Fox without one of his top scorers.

Luckily, sophomore J.J. Frazier was up to the task, scoring 12 of his 15 points after the intermission on a perfect shooting performance – 3 for 3 from three and 6 for 6 from the line.  Georgia had another nice game from beyond the arc as a team, canning nearly 44% of its attempts.

Marcus Thornton, coming off of a 24-point game in Chattanooga earlier this week, had the pleasure of matching up with Colorado’s All-Pac 12 First Team big man Josh Scott.  At 6’10”, Scott posed quite a problem for the Dawgs inside, netting 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds.  But Thornton again played admirably, scoring 16 points and grabbing 5 boards himself.

With 8:12 left in the game, Colorado shaved the Georgia lead to 47-39 following a lay-up by Scott.  But Thornton reliably responded with a three-pointer and then a layup on UGA’s ensuing possession, stretching the Georgia advantage back out to 11 points.

The Dawgs’ free throw shooting down the stretch was critical in this victory.  The Buffs Xavier Johnson hit a three to make it a 57-51 game with just 1:07 remaining, but UGA knocked down 7 of 8 free throws in the game’s final minute, making it impossible for CU to complete the comeback.

This win was very important for Georgia’s resume as Colorado should be a team that finishes with an RPI in the Top 50.  In addition, Tad Boyle’s squad is expected to make a return trip to this year’s NCAA Tournament.

The Dawgs will get a brief respite to take final exams before returning to Stegeman on December 21st to play host to undefeated Seton Hall – a team that currently boasts an RPI of 30.

Georgia’s loss to Georgia Tech may have just earned the title of “bad loss” following the Jackets loss to South Carolina-Upstate yesterday.

At 5-3, UGA needs another quality win if they hope to entertain any ideas of postseason basketball.

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5 thoughts on “Georgia makes it two in a row, downing Colorado at home

  1. This was one of the Dog’s better efforts of the season! We had practically all the starters in double figures and they all came thru w/ flying colors with the exception of Gaines! His injury looked pretty serious from the looks of things! I was proud of the way J.J. and Juwan handled themselves down the stretch! Juwan hit some clutch FT’s and J.J. Frazier was bounced around like a pin ball. He is really tough for a little guy! Go Dogs! Mike Potter

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  2. I didn’t know much about Colorado’s players, but it didn’t take very long to see that Scott and Booker were high-quality players. The former made Marcus, a good defender, look ordinary a couple times. Yes, it was sickening to see Kenny go down with the energy he was providing out there. His defense is often overlooked in light of his scoring and occasional spectacular dunk, but fortunately, we got over our post-injury letdown to get this win. And I think that we have to beat either Seton Hall of K-State (and ideally both) to have a credible pre-season resume. Oh, great write-up hoop.

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    1. It’s been a while since Seton Hall has been good – they play Wichita State tomorrow so they might not be undefeated when they come to Athens.

      I agree with you that Gaines does play solid defense.

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      1. His rebounding is what was missing in the second half. He always seems to be there there on the opposite of the rim on defense. I’m worried about SH game. Coach said they would scrimmage a lot in the next two weeks but that is like scrimmaging against a middle school team. I will always say that the reason Gaines is our best player is that he defended KCP everyday in practice his freshman year. That is how you get better. You have to be deep to get better in practice. I hope they shoot 200 free throws a piece every day for the next two weeks.

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  3. Make that about 1000 free throws ! This team is shooting a little better from the line, but I have seen this problem rear its ugly head before for the easiest shot in BB! Sometimes I think Coach Fox should have his best FT shooter demonstrate the way it should be done and then have everyone else emulate this same technique! The Dogs all want to do their own thing at the line! Some put both toes on the stripe, some put one toe on the stripe! They all want to be individuals, they all want to put some english on the bounces! Just adopt a style, one style for the whole team, bounce it 4 times and shoot! Skip all the slap fives and step up to the line and concentrate on what you are there for! That should get us into the 70’s with no problem at all! Mike Potter

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