Cameron Forte could not have picked a better moment to make his first collegiate shot ever from outside the paint.
With his team down 65-64 and fighting for its NCAA Tournament lives, Forte buried a jumper off of a spin move from the corner to send the Dawgs up 66-65 with only 6 seconds remaining.
Credit freshman Yante Maten for hustling back on defense just in the nick of time to send Retin Obasohan’s last-second layup attempt into the 19th row behind the goal. Alabama did get one last look, but Rodney Cooper failed to get his shot off before the clock expired, and Georgia snuck out of Tuscaloosa with a much-needed SEC road win.
What this win lacked in beauty it certainly made up for in grittiness. The Dawgs played the entire overtime without Marcus Thornton, who fouled out before the end of regulation play, and they lost Charles Mann to fouls with 1:38 remaining in the overtime.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well in this contest, with both teams finishing just under 38% from the floor. The offense was incredibly sluggish in the first half, especially when the score remained locked in at 19-11 (Georgia’s advantage) for over 3 minutes. Bama only hit 4 field goals through the first 17 minutes of the game, but UGA was nearly as inept on offense, which ultimately allowed the Tide to tie the game at 24-apiece going into the break.
Georgia was led offensively by Neme Djurisic, who scored 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds. The Dawgs’ late-game hero, Cameron Forte, chipped in 8 points as well as a team-high 10 boards.
Charles Mann netted 13 points, but unfortunately he turned the ball over 5 times, and he was particularly flustered by Bama’s full-court jump press.
Even though J.J. Frazier missed a pair of layups late in the game, his return was critical to this win as the sophomore provided 8 points of offense in addition to his 3 assists. Frazier is this team’s best ball-handler, and his presence certainly makes UGA’s offense more dynamic.
Alabama was led offensively by Retin Obasohan, who scored 6 of his team-high 16 points on a pair of clutch three-pointers in the waning moments of regulation play.
This win puts Georgia at 17-9 overall and 8-6 in the conference, where they are currently tied for 5th place with LSU. After back-to-back sickening home losses to Auburn and South Carolina, the Dawgs stepped up and got a win tonight in a game that may have saved their season.
UGA has three days off before they hit the road again to take on Ole Miss in Oxford, where the 10-4 Rebels will certainly be looking to avenge a January 20th loss to Georgia.