Baylor’s big second half overwhelms Georgia in Waco

Georgia played a great first half.

Georgia played a not so great second half.

The Dawgs gutted out the first 20 minutes with little help from Yante Maten, who was on the bench with foul trouble for nearly 16 minutes to start the game. However, UGA was able to slow things down, and thanks to a combined 18 points from J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines, the Dawgs actually took a 35-32 lead into the intermission on the road in Waco.

Baylor rocked Georgia coming out of the break, though, going on a 17-2 run that saw them run the score up to 49-37 after a free throw by Rico Gathers with 16:03 left in the game. The Dawgs fought, but they couldn’t ever recover from this onslaught from the Bears.

Georgia packed in their defense in the first half, daring Baylor to shoot it from the outside, and for twenty minutes, it worked. But once the Bears found their stroke from the perimeter, UGA’s defense became vulnerable. After only hitting 1 three-pointer in the first half, the Bears caught fire in the final 20 minutes, knocking down 6 shots from beyond the arc following the intermission.

Baylor ended up besting the Dawgs by a score of 83-73.

The Bears were led by Gathers, who scored 17 points to go along with his 9 rebounds. Baylor had 5 players finish in double-figures, and they shot over 45% as a team from the floor.

The Dawgs ended up with 4 players finishing in double-figures, with Frazier leading the way with 21 points and 11 assists, his first double-double of the year. Maten, who played limited minutes, netted 18 points to go with his 7 rebounds. Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann ended up with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

While Georgia was an 11-point underdog heading into tonight’s game, the Dawgs gave the UGA fanbase hope by playing an inspired first half. However, Coach Mark Fox’s team came out flat during one of the most critical stretches of any basketball game – the first 5 minutes of the second half – and Georgia paid dearly by having to play uphill for the final 20 minutes.

This loss puts the Dawgs at 11-8 on the season, and it leaves their NCAA tournament chances looking bleak at best. At this point, Coach Mark Fox needs something short of a “Dennis Felton-esque” tornado to enable his team to win the SEC tournament if UGA has any hopes of dancing. For Georgia, the NIT is looking like a more attainable goal; though the Dawgs need to string together a few wins at some point for the NIT to even materialize.

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8 thoughts on “Baylor’s big second half overwhelms Georgia in Waco

  1. I’m really starting to give up on Fox. Baylor is hit their free throws and we didn’t. I feel like its deja-vu for Georgia basketball week in and week out. Its so frustrating. Baylor is a better team than us, but we lost due to fundamental basketball error than getting outclassed by better talent from the other team in Baylor. The lack of depth is also flares up when we play better teams too. Outside of Mann, Gaines, JJ & Maten, we really don’t have anyone that is liable to do anything in the game. Most of the game we’re playing 4/5 or even 3/5. Kessler needs to stop taking shots. That three was just so bad. Ogbeide has so much physicality and potential but I have no idea why it isn’t being realized. Also, I would love to have Turtle Jackson get some extended PT. Next year, JJ and Maten will be the only established players left on the squad- that’s scary for a team that doesn’t rely on one-and-done’s

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    1. I know I sure don’t feel that way anymore. I hope we can land a graduate PG or big man this off-season. A capable veteran would help this team tremendously. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we have 3 scholarships open? Gaines, Mann and Young. I would venture to say that Kessler could be taken off of scholarship if Fox finds the right player. Does anyone have any recruiting info? Speaking of next year, the lack of playing time for Jackson & Wilridge is concerning.

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  2. A couple of points: First, I think that Fox’s point about depth was widely misinterpreted. Yes, we have more depth but the inexperience of that “depth” has always been worrisome to me. I think that I posted early on this season that I thought the widely discussed pronouncement that we were a NCAA tournament team was overly optimistic and that an NIT bid is about what we MIGHT expect. Despite the emergence of Maten, our front line is simply too thin and inexperienced to get us to the big dance even though we have the talent to play with a lot of very good teams. It hurt that Ogbeide was injured and has missed a half season of development, but I get the feeling that he will develop into a real hard-nosed basketball player a la Marcus Thornton. I got a kick out of one of the announcers yesterday who said that Edwards and Ogbeide look like they will become very productive players but that, right now, they are playing like freshmen. I, too, lament not seeing more of Turtle and Willridge. We could use some 5th year experienced help next year, but I’d rather it come from a a small or strong forward than a point guard. If someone really good comes along, I’m confident that a scholarship will emerge.

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    1. I agree that Ogbeide and Edwards should turn out to be productive players at Georgia.

      But Fox is no longer coaching at Nevada. He shouldn’t have to develop so much of his talent. He’s at Georgia, and he’s got a recruiting hotbed just 60 miles away in Atlanta. Shouldn’t he be able to bring in a freshman that’s already somewhat developed and ready to contribute immediately?

      Kentucky isn’t the only SEC school that has great freshmen. Texas A&M, LSU, Florida, Missy State and Mizzou all have at least one freshman averaging in double-figures.

      I used to think that one thing that hurt UGA basketball recruiting was that it was a football school. But now I’m not so sure. These schools are all ranked in the AP Top 25 for basketball, and they all had better football teams than Georgia this year:

      Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Baylor, Arizona, Oregon and Notre Dame

      Why can’t Fox bring in a guy that’s going to make a significant impact right away?

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      1. Hoops dawg,

        I think Fox can do some roster management to find some scholarships. Gaines and Mann are directly being replaced. Young, who was a walk-on last year, could be taken off of scholarship. Kessler could also be taken off of scholarship if needed. Like I said before, I would love a 5th year transfer to help us out for next year. If Maten keeps on developing and Ogbeide polishes up his game, we should have a pretty solid front court. If only we could get JJ some help… JJ is a spectacular player and plays bigger than anyone else I’ve seen in person. He could really dominate the NBA if he had a couple of inches on him.

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      2. Hoop, I can certainly concur that Fox must recruit better to win at UGA and survive. It is kind of rubbed in my face a couple of times a week living out here in California now that Fox couldn’t even get Jaylen Brown (from Atlanta and Georgia’s best HS player last year) to visit Athens. Every time I tune in to see Cal play on the PAC 12 network I see a supremely talented and reasonably selfless young player starring for the Golden Bears. Plug him into our lineup with experienced guards and I think we are 6-8 wins better over the course of the season. Yeah, we get a KCP every 20 years or so, but we should be recruiting 5-stars every year or two at least.

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