Georgia entered today’s game as the best shooting team in the SEC throughout the first seven conference games – the Dawgs were connecting on 46% from the floor and nearly 46% from beyond the arc.
However, without Marcus Thornton, UGA’s offense looked absolutely lost.
Coach Fox needed freshman Yante Maten to step up and fill in for the senior leader, but instead Maten spent the afternoon mired in foul trouble before fouling out with just 5 points in 18 minutes of play.
Maten’s issues put an additional strain on a Georgia team that was already short-handed.
The result: UGA appeared baffled on offense. The Dawgs shot an abysmal 11 of 50 from the floor. Yes, that’s right, Georgia made just 11 field goals in 40 minutes of play. UGA hit only 17% of its three-point attempts, putting up a goose-egg in the second half from the perimeter, missing all 11 of its attempts.
Without Thornton, South Carolina was able to pressure Georgia’s guards, pushing them further out away from the basket. J.J. Frazier led all UGA scorers with 16 points, while Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines combined for 21 points on 5 of 22 shots from the field.
Sadly, South Carolina barely felt threatened in this game after taking a double-digit lead following a three-pointer by Brian Steele early in the first half. Georgia cut into the lead a couple of times after the break, but the Dawgs never got closer than 8 points, and eventually the Gamecocks pulled away, winning the game 67-50.
Coach Fox needed his veteran players to shoulder more of the load in Thornton’s absence, but they just weren’t up for the task. Neme Djurisic, much like Mann and Gaines, also failed to play well, making only 2 of 7 from the floor, finishing with just 7 points.
This loss puts Georgia in a six-way tie for third place in the SEC, and more importantly, it goes down as UGA’s worst loss of the season as SC has an RPI of 111.
The Dawgs’ five game win streak was emphatically snapped by South Carolina, and now Georgia has to endure a quick turnaround that will see them playing at Kentucky in a matter of days.
Hopefully, Marcus Thornton will make that trip.