The game tonight in Stegeman was definitely the best atmosphere for a UGA home game that I can remember. Charles Barkley, Bill Belicheck and anyone other celebrity in attendance had to be impressed with the turnout from the Georgia faithful.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
Kentucky looked like a team that knew how to win
Coach Calipari’s team did not wither when J.J. Frazier hit a three-pointer from just inside Milledge Avenue to send the Dawgs up 50-43, blowing the roof off of Stegeman Coliseum. Instead, they hung around, keeping the game within reaching distance. After Marcus Thornton buried a pair of free throws with 5:36 remaining, his team held a slim 62-56 lead. However, the Cats took over at that point, scoring 14 unanswered points. Karl-Anthony Towns, who was unstoppable tonight, netted 7 of his game-high 19 during that critical stretch. When the dust finally settled, UGA’s upset bid had come short, and Kentucky left the Steg with a 72-64 victory, its 30th of the season.
Georgia’s frontcourt carried them
Neme Djurisic played fantastic in his final game in Athens, driving the ball fearlessly at the multitude of Kentucky 7-footers. On Senior Night, Djurisic scored 18 points to go along with 6 rebounds, and his offense enabled the Dawgs to stay tight with the Cats all night. His partner down low, Marcus Thornton, chipped in 14 points in addition to his 7 boards. With the Georgia guards struggling to find offense – Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier shot a combined 2 for 9 from beyond the arc – the bigs kept Mark Fox’s team in the game.
UGA passes the eye test
With ESPN and Jay Bilas in attendance, the Dawgs played Kentucky neck-n-neck for nearly 35 minutes. Any doubts that outsiders may have had regarding this team were surely put to rest after tonight’s gutty performance by this group of Bulldogs. Georgia has the look of an NCAA tournament team, and its team and its fans should certainly be excited about what lies ahead in March.