Despite being generally outplayed and out rebounded for the first twenty minutes of this one, Georgia found itself trailing LSU by just 3 points heading into the locker room, the score 33-30 in favor of the Tigers. LSU struggled mightily from the perimeter before the break, missing all 7 of their attempts.
The second half was a different story, though. The Tigers found their stroke from the outside, knocking down 6 of 12 shots from beyond the arc, which fueled the LSU win.
Georgia entered tonight’s game shooting over 40% from the perimeter in conference games, yet the Bulldogs shot an abysmal 6 for 23 from the outside. Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier combined to shoot only 6 of 19 on the evening.
Fouls, fouls and more fouls
The referees in Baton Rouge whistled an astounding 55 fouls on Tuesday night. This game marked the second time this season that the Dawgs have played in a game in which over 50 fouls were called (63 fouls were assessed in the Chattanooga game). The game clock seemed to be moving in slow motion around the 10-minute mark of the second half, when nearly every trip down the floor resulted in a stoppage of play.
All of the fouling turned out to be more advantageous for the Tigers as they shot 55 free throws to Georgia’s 24. LSU standout Ben Simmons, who scored 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds, attempted 17 shots from the stripe himself; fortunately for UGA he only made 10 of those attempts.
Georgia’s leading scorer, Yante Maten, fouled out with over 9 minutes remaining in the contest, leaving with only 5 points in 20 minutes of play.
While LSU took more than double the free throws than UGA tonight, the Dawgs once again didn’t do themselves any favors from the line. Georgia entered this one making under 63% from the stripe in conference games, which ranks them 12 out of 14 in the league in that category. This evening, UGA once again shot below 63% on its free throws, leaving precious points on the table in a game that Georgia lost 89-85.
Teams that want to go on the road and win conference games must protect the ball.
Georgia committed 12 turnovers against LSU in Baton Rouge, which is nowhere near their highest output of the season. However, the Tigers only gave the ball away 9 times, meaning that UGA once again finished a game with a negative turnover margin. The Dawgs came into this game with the 2nd worst turnover margin in the league in SEC games at -3.1. For a team that struggles enough as it is to score points, Georgia cannot afford to give its opponents extra offensive opportunities.