Georgia beats South Carolina again to improve to 9-8 in SEC

With the Dawgs clinging to a 66-63 lead and under 90 seconds remaining, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier crossed half court and sunk a three-pointer from well outside the arc, sending Georgia up 69-63 with 1:14 left.  This shot took the life out of Colonial Life Arena, and UGA went on to win 74-72 on South Carolina’s court.

Georgia was fortunate to even be in a position to win this game down the stretch considering that Coach Fox’s team turned the ball over 19 times tonight.  The Dawgs’ passing was atrocious, particularly their entry looks.  Yet even when the Gamecocks reclaimed the lead down the stretch, and then bolstered it to 61-57 with a little over 4 minutes remaining following a jumper by Sindarious Thornwell, UGA stood its ground.

Coach Mark Fox and his staff deserve a lot of credit for how they game planned to defend the Cocks in this one.  For much of the night, UGA sat in a zone, daring the Carolina, who entered the game as 3rd worst in the SEC in three-point shooting in conference games, to beat them from the outside.  South Carolina, for its part, obliged, making only 9 of its 26 three-point attempts.  Carolina’s leading scorer, Michael Carrera, struggled mightily, mustering 13 points on a 5 for 21 shooting performance (which included him going just 1 of 10 from beyond the arc).

Georgia was led offensively by Kenny Gaines and J.J. Frazier, who scored 20 and 19, respectively.  Gaines netted 14 of his 20 in the first half, while J.J. got 12 of his 19 after the intermission.  Neither of them shot the ball particularly well in Columbia as they combined to make only 11 of 34 attempts.  Frazier, though, found other ways to contribute, securing 9 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists as he nearly messed around and got a triple-double.

Georgia’s only other player to finish in double-digits was Yante Maten, who chipped in 13 points and 7 rebounds.

This victory marks just the third time this season that UGA has won on the road, and it completes the series sweep of Frank Martin’s USC team.

The Dawgs are now 16-12 overall and 9-8 in the SEC, and Georgia is 4-11 against the RPI Top 100 on the year.  UGA is currently in 7th place in the league, but if Georgia can hold serve at home on Saturday against Alabama, the Dawgs could finish as high as 5th in the conference should South Carolina and Ole Miss stumble in their respective road games this weekend.

 

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9 thoughts on “Georgia beats South Carolina again to improve to 9-8 in SEC

  1. Awesome win! We finally get a decent road win, and it’s always good to beat Sakerlina. Man, if the refs had only called traveling in Oxford….oh, and we hadn’t laid an egg in Auburn.

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    1. That loss last night was devastating for Carolina, dropped them from 38 RPI to 54. Georgia moved up to 72. Teams have been selected in the 60s for the Big Dance before (just sayin). I think if Dawgs win on Saturday and reach finals of SEC tourney, not win it but reach it, they could sneak in.

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  2. Considering that in the past few seasons, our squad has missed a lot of crucial free throws and not been a great FT shooting team, I think it’s worth pointing out that they went 23 for 27 last night from the line. Doing that in a hostile environment is really impressive. If we had shot at our usual percentage we would not have won that game. Nice to see.

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    1. Agreed. Without the great FT shooting, it would have been another tough loss. Kudos to the team for playing really good defense and overcoming the turnover bug.

      Am kinda looking forward to seeing the Dawgs in Nashville after all now! I think that UK will end up as the second seed. To avoid playing a “road game” against them any earlier than necessary, I’d really like to end up as either the 5 or 6 seed. Ole Miss plays in Knoxville–who knows which Vols’ team will show up to play them? USC-East plays at Arkansas so at least one of them will lose.

      The best scenario would be Dawgs roll the Tide, Arkansas beats Carolina and then it doesn’t really matter what Ole Miss does. We’d win all of the tiebreakers and finish as #5! Amazing.

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  3. JJ looked great again last night! He is still the biggest heart in the smallest of packages in all of college basketball! I continue to be a critic of Charles Mann, but tonight he hit several crucial free throws and led by his confidence and attitude at the FT line late in the game!!! My hat goes off to the Senior from Alpharetta! This has been another stellar coaching job by Coach Fox!!!

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    1. I agree with both your observations Mike with one caveat about JJ. In my opinion, he is much too sloppy with the ball and distributing the ball to be a truly elite player. When and if he learns to truly value that rock, he will immediately vault into all-league (and possibly POY) consideration in his senior year.

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