Kansas tops Georgia 65-54 in finals of CBE

The turning point in the game…

After trailing Kansas 35-25 at the break, the Bulldogs made a run at the Jayhawks at the start of the second half.  Yante Maten hit a three-pointer and Derek Ogbeide got a stick back, and less than a minute in UGA had trimmed the Kansas advantage to just 5 points. The Jayhawks responded with a three and a tip-in of their own, and with 17:35 left Kansas had already restored its double-digit halftime lead and sucked the air out of any thoughts of a UGA comeback.   Instead, the Dawgs went into drought mode and allowed over 8 minutes to surpass before they would get another bucket.  By the time Maten hit a jumper with 9:36 remaining, his team was down 52-36.

Maten shines…

Yante was obviously unfazed by the gloss of playing the #5 team in the country.  The junior led all scorers and rebounders with 30 points and 13 boards, respectively.  Maten dominated the paint for much of the game, controlling the blocks and grabbing 8 offensive rebounds,which enabled him to score on a number of second chance stick backs.  Defensively, Maten and the other UGA bigs were a force as well – the Kansas posts accounted for only 5 of their team’s 64 points on the evening.

But he couldn’t do it all by himself…

While Maten certainly enjoyed a monster game in the finals of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic, the rest of the Georgia team, by and large, struggled.  Yante shot 48% from the floor en route to 30 total points; everyone else in a red jersey combined for a total of 24 points and 22% from the field.  J.J. Frazier and Juwan Parker were particularly cold on Tuesday.  Frazier notched just 2 points, going 1 for 10 from the floor and o for 6 from beyond the arc.  Parker had only 5 points, hitting 2 of his 9 attempts from the field and missing all of his three-point attempts.  Freshman Jordan Harris, who had put together two consecutive decent games coming into this one, looked overwhelmed against the Kansas backcourt, committing a team-high 4 turnovers and scoring just 2 points.

The silver lining…

Georgia fans should be encouraged by the fact that the Dawgs lost by only 11 points to the #5 Jayhawks, considering that J.J., who entered the game averaging nearly 19 points a night, netted only 2 points.  Frazier had been responsible for more than a quarter of UGA’s scoring load in the first 4 games, so it seems reasonable to expect the Dawgs to struggle when he is off (like last night).  If J.J. makes half of his three-point attempts on Tuesday, this game would have been much tighter down the stretch.  Coach Mark Fox’s team definitely showed a certain toughness in hanging around with the more talented Jayhawks, despite not getting any production from its best guard.  Credit the Dawgs’ defense, which held Kansas to under 39% from the floor and basically kept them sort of in the game.

 

 

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