Short-handed Georgia hangs on for the win

No Kenny Gaines? No problem.

At least not for tonight.

Despite not having Gaines on the floor against the Winthrop Eagles (6-2) due to a minor knee injury, Georgia (4-3) turned in one of its better offensive performances of the season.   The Dawgs only shot 38% from the floor, but they dished out a season-high 17 assists.  Coach Fox had to be pleased with his team’s unselfishness as well as their ability to hit the open cutters tonight.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that Yante Maten finished his fourth straight game with more than 20 points, scoring 24 this evening to go along with 12 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season.  The game definitely seems to be slowing down for Maten, who appears to be bursting with confidence on offense, scoring consistently on his mid-range jumpers and hook shots.

Maten was not the only double-doubler, though, as little J.J. Frazier managed to snag 10 boards in addition to his 15 points.  He did have another tough night from the floor, however, hitting only 4 of his 14 attempts.

Charles Mann was the only other Bulldog to end up in double-figures, scoring 14 points on a 2 for 8 shooting performance.

UGA’s offense is much more effective when the ball is moving, and players are moving without the ball.  When the Dawgs start relying more on creation off the dribble from Frazier or Mann is when things start to get a little stagnant.

Georgia jumped out to a double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the first half, largely due to the fact that Winthrop only had 5 field goals through the game’s first 15 minutes of play.  With 4:23 left before intermission, UGA held a commanding 29-14 advantage.

In the second half, though, the Eagles found their range from beyond the arc, knocking down 6 of their 12 three-point attempts.  Roderick Perkins, who scored 14 points, nailed a three with 7:53 remaining that cut the UGA lead to 57-51.

Over the next minute, Georgia made 6 straight free throws, bolstering their advantage back into double-digits. The Dawgs were able to keep the Eagles at bay for the latter stretch of the game, giving UGA the 74-64 home win.

While Winthrop is far from a powerhouse, they were picked to finish near the top of the Big South Conference before the start of the season.  More importantly, Georgia avoided a potentially bad loss in a game in which they were playing without their leading scorer.

The Dawgs have 11 days off before returning to Stegeman for the yearly matchup with Georgia Tech, a team that UGA hasn’t beaten in four years (or since Brian Gregory took he reigns).  The Jackets have already knocked off Tennessee and Arkansas this year, so Georgia had better be at full strength on December 19th if they hope to be competitive in this one.

 

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9 thoughts on “Short-handed Georgia hangs on for the win

  1. Wilridge is raw and can’t shoot a lick, and yet I see him make quick decisions with the ball that I like. Maten is already our best post player since Jeremy Price was a senior.

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    1. Great comment Sansho. I was trying to think back to our last really solid post scorer…I dismissed Trey Thompkins and my memory failed me until I got back Carlos Strong.

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      1. Takis Brown was a decent big man in between Strong and Thomkins. He was a good rebounder and with that great drop-step was as good an inside scorer as we’ve had in a long time. Yet Felton cut him ( and Mercer) off a team that many expected to compete for the SEC East title that year. Boy was Felton a bad memory.

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  2. Better offensively tonight and we actually got some critical offensive boards late in the game. Yet for most of the game, we sucked on the offensive boards again and Fox (who was wired for sound on TV) stressed offensive rebounding more than once during the time-outs. That being the case, why doesn’t he teach these kids to follow their shots? Is there something about Georgia’s offense that I can’t see on TV that minimizes the likelihood of good offensive boardwork? It seems like everyone we play is better on the offensive boards than we are. I don’t know what the overall rebounding totals were tonight, but the TV commentators said that we had been outrebounded in 5 of our six previous games. It is tough to win games when you don’t win on the boards!

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  3. When JJ Frazier is one of your leading board men it says something about the “want to” of the rest of the team on the boards! Better night from the FT line also! Our offense bogs down when we can not even make this simple, uncontested shot from 15 feet! Defense is still poor! Dawgs should be making out like bandits with those 2 big strong guards crashing the boards! Willridge is a slasher who seems to be challenged to hit a lay-up! I hope he comes around w/ some playing time!

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    1. I think that we have to remember that our freshman are playing in only their eighth college game when they take the floor as Tech comes rolling in. Also remember that Wilridge lost a lot of playing time in high school due to a serious injury. As for his shooting prowess. I think that he has the freshman yips as his recruiting video showed him hitting very long range 3s almost effortlessly. Same with Turtle at this point as when I lived in the Athens area, I had seen him light it up long-range. I expect both these guys to be meaningful contributors before the year is out. Ogbeide, our one 4-star recruit, is raw, raw, raw! But with his body and motor, I suspect that he is capable of becoming a beast inside, first defensively (kind of like Thornton) and then offensively (again, kind of like Thornton). I also like what I’ve seen of Edwards so far, although he has a lot to learn and looks like a deer in the headlights sometimes (particularly on the defensive end). I hesitate to say this and I hope that I am wrong, but we may be reaching a little high to think that this year’s team is an NCAA squad. Tech is playing pretty well, and that game should say volumes about how prepared we are to ball against quality opposition during the late pre-SEC season.

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  4. Nice win last night. I checked the RPI today and we’re 49th with a SOS of 8. We only have three non-conference games left in Dec: Tech, Clemson, and Robert Morris. It is critical we win at least two of the three. I am about ready for the Tech losing streak to be over. Hope that we get some of the wounded back.

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