Dawgs lose 2nd straight game at home, falling to South Carolina

UGA played arguably its worst first half of the season tonight against South Carolina, and yet the Dawgs had a chance to win this game late in the second half.

After trailing 41-23 at the break, Georgia tied the game at 51 apiece with 4:31 left in the game after a pair of free throws from Yante Maten.

Georgia failed to secure defensive rebounds down the stretch though, and in the end, these lapses ended up doing them in. Mindaugus Kacinas tipped in a missed jumper to give his team a 53-51 lead with only 3:38 remaining.  On the ensuing possession, UGA held the Cocks from scoring on another jump shot, but Kacinas was there once again for the offensive board, which he promptly kicked to teammate Tyrone Johnson.  Johnson immediately buried a three-pointer, giving Carolina a 56-51 advantage.

The Gamecocks secured offensive rebounds on 2 of their next 3 possessions, which led to 3 free throws and eventually a 64-58 road victory.

For Carolina, this win marks just its third SEC road win in nearly three and a half seasons.

Georgia failed to lead once in this contest, and they quickly found themselves down 19-4 less than 10 minutes into the game.  The Dawgs shot just 33% from the floor before the break, and their defense was nonexistent.  In the first half, UGA yielded 7 three-pointers to the Cocks, enabling them to go into the intermission with 41 points – an incredible offensive outburst for a team that entered tonight’s game averaging just 58 points per SEC contest.

Georgia was led offensively by Charles Mann, whose 17 points were instrumental in helping the Dawgs mount a comeback.  However, Mann didn’t get much support as Kenny Gaines was the only other UGA player to finish in double-digits with 11 points.

After laying an egg at home against Auburn last Saturday, I expected the Dawgs to come out with a little more fire than they showed this evening.  Georgia started this game incredibly flat, digging themselves into a huge hole that they ultimately couldn’t escape from.

Coach Mark Fox has to be wondering what kind of damage his team has done to its NCAA tournament resume – something that looked rock solid a week ago.  The Dawgs are now 16-9 overall and 7-6 in SEC play, but they are falling fast in the conference’s standings.

Meanwhile, South Carolina has four SEC wins this season and two of them have come against UGA.

Blemishes now abound on Georgia’s schedule, with losses to SC (2), Auburn, Georgia Tech and Minnesota.  For Coach Fox, it might be time to start hitting the panic button as his team appears to be spiraling downwards, losing 4 of its past 6 games.

Marcus Thornton, who carried this team during the first half of this season, is averaging just 7.5 points a night since returning from his injury, failing to finish in double-figures in any of the last four games.

The Dawgs hit the road Saturday, traveling to Tuscaloosa where they will take on Alabama, a team that is currently 5-7 in league play.  With an RPI of 76, Bama does not offer UGA the opportunity for a quality win; however, a loss to the Tide could certainly be looked upon as another bad loss.

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8 thoughts on “Dawgs lose 2nd straight game at home, falling to South Carolina

  1. I’m just in complete shock right now and really don’t know what to think. I don’t know where to put the blame but this is just un acceptable and pathetic is it too early to start talking about changes? And at this point I don’t know if I really want to see this team make the tournament hard love but it’s true. We just don’t deserve it at this point.

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  2. Things are getting very ugly very fast. You just cannot win many basketball games without ever ever throwing in to the post.

    At Bama Saturday night is an absolute must win. RPI just doubled from 20 to 40.

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  3. I realize that we had a short bench last night but USC’s bench was even thinner. Our game plan should have been simply to play tough defense, crash the boards, and take it inside. Even with no apparent plan of attack on offense, we got them into foul trouble. Thornwell got about seven fouls but managed to never foul out–not sure how that happened.

    As mentioned on the pre-game post, our clock management continues to be horrid. Down by 4 with 1:30 left, we let them milk the clock to 1:00 and then couldn’t get a rebound. When down by more than one possession with under 2:00 to play, we should be trapping and/or fouling to increase the number of possessions (3 to 2 trades like Auburn did to us). Then down by 5 with :30 to play, we chunk it around until finally getting off a shot with about :17 left.

    Carolina is NOT a good team and they were severely short handed last night. It is truly embarrassing that we lost. The only redeeming part was that after the dreadful first half, they didn’t give up—and amazingly, it looked on TV like few fans left at half-time.

    Bama rolled on the Plains last night. It’s time to Hunker Down.

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  4. there’s a lot of teams with better records and better basketball reps below georgia right now. need to win at bama, compete vs UK, and win 2 games in the sec tourney. without a big kick to close, it’s off to the nit.

    if uga keeps fox it’s basically saying “we know he can’t recruit and we know he can’t win but he’s our guy.” what quality prospect would want to go to a program like that?

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    1. Do you think that Fox’s offense – regimented and semi-dull – is a detractor in his recruiting efforts? Maybe 4-star players want to play in systems that allow them to go more one-on-one…

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      1. I don’t think it’s a detraction. Athletes want to play and win. CMF has a good environment (works hard on the court and values their work in the classroom). It seems to me that he just has a hard time dealing with unplanned issues.

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  5. Much like the FB game with FLA, we come out totally flat in our biggest MUST WIN game of the year. After the AU loss, the USC game was an absolute must win. JUst hard to watch us get dominated in that first half. I love the team’s effort and heart 99% of the time, but that was unacceptable. Mizzou, USC, and Auburn are bad teams, but we’re not good enough to show up and just win ANY game in the SEC.

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