KT Harrell, who hit the shot that sunk Georgia in Athens, couldn’t repeat the last-second heroics today at home against the Dawgs. After J.J. Frazier buried a pair of free throws to put Georgia up 64-61, Auburn had one more chance with 4.8 seconds remaining, but this afternoon the Tigers came up just a bit short.
This win means the Dawgs will conclude the SEC regular season at 11-7, and it should remove any doubts that may have existed regarding UGA and this year’s NCAA tournament. ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan listed Georgia as a “Lock” for the Big Dance in his latest “Bubble Watch”, and after today’s game I’d say he’s 100% correct.
The Dawgs came into this contest short-handed with Kenny Gaines sidelined with a foot sprain, but his backcourt compatriots Charles Mann and J.J. Frazier helped to pick up the slack.
Charles Mann played outstanding down the stretch, steadying his team as they endured a barrage of three-pointers from the Auburn guards. Harrell hit a three with 13:53 left in the game that saw his team take a 46-39 lead. But Mann stayed the course, driving the ball to the rim and drawing foul after foul Charles scored 7 points over the next 5 minutes, and he tied the game at 52 apiece with a little over 8 minutes remaining after sinking a pair of free throws. Mann ended up with 15 points, going a perfect 9 for 9 from the stripe.
Frazier led all UGA scorers with 16 points, and he finally shot the ball well from the perimeter, making 3 of his 4 attempts from beyond the arc.
The only other Bulldog to eclipse ten points was Neme Djurisic, who finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Auburn’s K.T. Harrell was the leading scorer in the game with 24 points.
Coach Fox’s team did an excellent job of tightening up the perimeter defense late in second half, which enabled the Dawgs to take control of the game. The Tigers made 9 of their first 19 three-pointers through nearly the first 30 minutes of this one, but they failed to connect on their final 10 shots from the outside.
Fortunately, Georgia shot the ball well this afternoon on the Plains, connecting on 50% of its shots from both the floor and the perimeter. The Dawgs’ hot shooting aided them in overcoming an ugly 17 turnovers.
This victory puts UGA in 5th place in the league, and their final position depends on the outcome of tonight’s game between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. If Vandy wins, UGA takes the 3rd spot in the SEC; however, should Ole Miss hold serve at home, Georgia would remain in 5th place.