3 quick takeaways from UGA’s 72-69 win over Florida

MatenSZN

What can be said about Yante Maten that hasn’t already been said?  The guy is on pace to lead the SEC in both points and rebounds, and he’s has to be in serious consideration for the conference’s Player of the Year award.  The senior willed his team to an improbable comeback in a game that Georgia trailed for the majority of regulation.  The Dawgs rode Maten in the second half as they fed him the ball inside religiously.  Yante scored 16 of his 23 points after the intermission.  With the Dawgs trailing 59-53 and just 25 seconds remaining, the game appeared to be over.  On the next possession, however, Maten buried a triple with 17 seconds remaining that made it a one-possession ball game.  On the ensuing Gator in-bounds play, Jalen Hudson cut too hard and couldn’t control his momentum, which led to him traveling as he received the ball.  Then Yante Maten went all “1990s Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks” and hit another contested three-pointer that tied the game at 59-59 and sent it to overtime.

UGA defense

The Dawgs played incredibly stout man defense last night in Gainesville.  The UGA guards stayed in front of a talented Florida backcourt for much of the night and frustrated some of the better shooters in the SEC.  Georgia held Florida, a team that entered this contest scoring more than 77 a night, to just 59 points in regulation; the Gators shot under 38% from the floor. Jalen Hudson, the team’s leading scorer, was held to just 2 points, and Chris Chiozza could muster only 5 on an ugly 2 for 14 shooting performance.  With 10:03 left in the game and Florida up 50-39, Georigia’s defense put the clamps on and held the Gators without a field goal for nearly 8 minutes, which was eerily similar to the 9-minute stretch in the second half in Athens in which Florida failed to convert from the floor.  Egor Koulechov, who had 19 points, finally scored a bucket with 2:36 remaining, but by then UGA had trimmed the Gator advantage to 53-50.   Georgia’s defense certainly enabled this comeback.

The arrival of Tyree Crump

All season, Georgia has been searching for a point guard to create offense and replace some of the points that J.J. Frazier used to facilitate.  In the second half on Tuesday night, Tyree Crump started to look like that guy.  Crump finished with 13 points – 11 of which came after the break – including a clutch three-pointer that cut the Florida lead to 57-53 with only 1:08 left in regulation.  Crump also had 5 assists, several of which led to wide-open dunks for Derek Ogbeide (who had 10 points on the night).  I know the knock against Crump has been his defense, but he looked good last night on Chiozza; the Florida senior had trouble getting open looks with Crump constantly pestering him.  Over the last stretch of regulation and then into overtime, Tyree played with more confidence than I’ve seen him display in his nearly two years in Athens.

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