The fact that Georgia was even in a position to possibly tie the game in the waning seconds is a testament to J.J. Frazier’s heart. Frazier, who score 24 of his game-high 29 points in the second half (he netted 11 points in final four and half minutes), went to the line with the Bulldogs trailing Auburn 84-81 and only 1.6 seconds left. J.J. missed the first shot unintentionally, which forced him to have to miss the second intentionally with the hopes that the ball might kick out for a long rebound and a potential last second three-point attempt. None of that happened, though. Instead, Auburn’s Cinmeon Bowers corralled the miss and the Tigers secured the home victory.
Kenny Gaines deserves a lot of credit for the late surge as well, hitting 3 three-pointers in the game’s final minute, giving him 23 points on the night.
Ultimately, though, the Dawgs could not overcome another sluggish first half.
In the game’s first twenty minutes, UGA made just 26% of its shots. Auburn wasn’t much better at 38% from the floor, yet the Tigers held a 39-23 advantage at the break. This lead was somewhat surprising considering that Cinmeon Bowers, who averages a double-double for Auburn, spent the majority of the first half on the bench with two fouls.
Despite Bowers’s absence, Maten could not take advantage, putting up a goose egg in the scoring department prior to the intermission, continuing his recent offensive woes. Entering tonight’s contest on The Plains, Maten had connected on just 11 of his last 38 shot attempts. Yanted ended up with 10 points and 8 boards, but this contest marked the 3rd straight game where Maten has had trouble offensively.
While Auburn leads the conference with nearly 9 three’s per game in SEC contests, the Tigers have only been making 33% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Tonight, however, Auburn torched Georgia from the perimeter, knocking down 11 three-pointers en route to a 46% shooting performance from the outside.
The Tigers were led by T.J. Lang and Jordon Granger, who scored 21 and 18 points, respectively. These two also combined for 7 of Auburn’s 11 three’s.
Winning on the road in college basketball is not easy, and Georgia has the 2-8 road record to prove it. But this was not a very good Auburn basketball team. Actually, it’s a pretty bad Auburn basketball team.
The Tigers entered tonight’s contest at 4-10 in the SEC, second to last in the league. Prior to this evening, Auburn had dropped 8 of its last 9 games. Not to mention that they have been playing without the services of Kareem Canty, who was removed from the team last month due to disciplinary reasons – at the time, Canty was the Tigers’s leading scorer.
Good teams don’t lose games like this one, even away from home. But at 14-12 overall and 7-8 in the SEC, it’s starting to look like UGA is not that good of a team.
The NIT, which is Georgia’s only hope for a postseason experience at this point, is starting to look out of reach for Coach Mark Fox’s bunch.