Decatur Dawg with my third game write-up, all wins!
The Bulldogs beat NCAA “lock” South Carolina for the third time this season and JJ Fraiser put himself on the map as a national star in a thrilling one point win late Friday night in Nashville. Hoop Dawgs fans saw a rare outburst of celebration from Coach Fox at the end as he wiped out on the floor when JJ made the game winning steal with 2 seconds left.
Georgia spent most of the first half putting on an ugly performance of offense. Early in the half the Dawgs had a hard time just getting off field goal attempts. There was little to no rhythm, JJ was out of control and Maten could not finish. South Carolina came out playing very physical with us and had control of the game it seemed. Georgia’s zone defense looked lazy and the Gamecocks, led by Thornwell with 13 points, made open jumpers.
Then, somehow, the Dawgs went to halftime down only 3 points. (It looked like KPG had scored a weird dunk at the buzzer to cut the lead to one but it was waived off). Coach Martin looked like he was having a stroke during his halftime interview.
The Cocks came out aggressive again to start the second half and it was Coach Fox’s turn to freak out as Carolina went up by 11 early in the second half. Georgia answered though with a 9-0 run and tied the game at 47 with JJ’s coast to coast drive with 9:00 left. JJ continued to beat the Cocks down the court but the Dawgs could not get over the hump and take the lead. Finally, with 3:00 left Mann’s free throws gave the Dawgs their first lead 60-59.
Carolina led by 2 in the last minute when JJ Fraiser took over the game to win it for the Dawgs. First he split a double team and delivered a sweet teardrop floater over their center to tie the game with about 20 seconds left. Thornwell then tried to take JJ off the dribble but JJ stole the ball from him and drew a foul with two seconds left. Fraiser was super-confident and made the first free throw for his 20th point of the game before missing the second intentionally (a nice call by Fox).
The Dawgs only had the lead for a total of 42 seconds of game time but it was enough. The team showed real toughness and commitment. We now get 16 hours off before we tip off with Big Blue tomorrow afternoon.