“Just like the football!”
Saturday’s crowd at Stegeman got a chance to serenade the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets with a cheer that hasn’t been used since Brian Gregory took over as the Tech coach.
The Dawgs (5-3) rode an incredible offensive performance by J.J. Frazier and turned in another solid defensive effort en route to a 75-61 win, snapping a four-game losing streak to their in-state rival.
Frazier was unconscious on Saturday, scoring a season-high 35 points, which included a 6 for 9 effort from beyond the arc. His second three of the second half put UGA up 51-43, capping off an 18-9 run during the first 5 minutes after the intermission.
Georgia led by double-digits for much the remaining 15 minutes – the closest Tech got was when Marcus Georges-Hunt hit a pair of free throws to make is 66-59 Dawgs. By that point though, it was a little too late for Brian Gregory’s team. Frazier rattled off the next 8 free throws he took, making it impossible for the Jackets to mount any type of late comeback.
UGA’s defensive flustered Tech, holding them to under 40% from the floor. The Jackets entered the game making nearly 47% of their field goal attempts, but strong post defense from the Georgia bigs really took Tech out of its offense. In the second half, the Jackets managed only 6 points in the paint.
Charles Mitchell, who Mark Fox recruited when he decided to leave Maryland two years ago, entered the game averaging 14 points and almost 13 rebounds per night, recording a double-double in every contest this season. However, on Saturday Mitchell failed to convert a single basket, leaving the game with 1:36 left with 0 points and just 4 rebounds to go along with his 4 fouls.
Yante Maten, who just missed scoring 20 points for the 5th time in as many games, was a big factor in Mitchell’s inability to get going offensively. Maten played composed post defense, recording 3 blocks while picking up just 3 fouls. Maten also netted 17 points, teaming up with Frazier to score almost 70% of UGA’s points.
Georgia trailed the Jackets 34-33 at the half after a sloppy 20 minutes by the Bulldogs that saw them give it away 9 times. However, Coach Fox must have preached ball security in the locker room during the break because the Dawgs only turned it over 2 times in the second half.
Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines combined for only 12 points on 3 of 13 shooting from the floor, but luckily Frazier brought enough offense to cover the three of them this afternoon.
After a long layoff due to final exams, it was nice to see Georgia lead for nearly 75% of this game. UGA appeared to be playing at a higher energy level than the Jackets, with the Dawgs seeming quicker to every lose ball.
Georgia will continue its ACC slate on Tuesday when they play host to the Clemson Tigers (7-4), a team that has already dropped games to Alabama and South Carolina.