Georgia wins second in a row with upset of #18 Tennessee

Derek Ogbeide was clearly having a good time yesterday inside Stegeman Coliseum.  The UGA big cheesed for the camera after a huge old-fashioned three-point play.  When a Tennessee big got called for traveling late in the second half, Ogbeide skipped down the court with his hands up high as he simulated the official signal for traveling with his dancing fingers.  The junior from Atlanta had plenty to be excited about as his offense carried the Dawgs down the stretch and enabled Georgia to hold off the #18 Tennessee Volunteers in their 72-63 upset win on Saturday (UGA’s 5th straight W over the Vols).

Ogbeide had 16 points and 11 rebounds, marking his second double-double in a week.  It’s no shock that Ogbeide’s improved play has coincided with two enormous conference wins for this UGA basketball program.  He’s finally becoming the threat on the opposite block that many hoped he would be all season.  With all the attention that Yante Maten garners, it was expected that Ogbeide would benefit offensively on the opposite block, and those hopes are beginning to come to fruition as the junior scored on an array of drop-step buckets, dunks and tip-ins.

The Georgia defense was once again the main attraction, however, as the Dawgs held a Volunteer team that entered this game scoring almost 75 a night in SEC games to just 63.  The Vols were making more than 37% of their attempts beyond the arc in league play, yet on Saturday they only connected on 32%.  Yante Maten, in addition to his 19 points, shut down Tennessee’s leading scorer Grant Williams.  Maten held Williams to just 5 points, which is over 12 below his conference average.  Maten’s offense forced Williams into foul trouble, which frustrated the UT big into a 1 of 8 performance from the field.

I realize it sounds simple, but credit Mark Fox’s team for not folding and relinquishing the lead against an aggressive opponent, something that has been an issue for this UGA team this season (see @ Missouri, @ Auburn, Arkansas).  With 5:14 remaining, Kyle Alexander tipped in a missed Tennessee shot that cut the Georgia advantage to 54-51. The Vols got into their full-court pressure (that they applied for much of the latter portion of the game), and I began to chew my fingernails as it felt like things were going to potentially unravel.  Tyree Crump assuaged my fears, however, when he buried a three-pointer that sent the Dawgs back up by 6 points.  Several possessions later, with the Vols only one stop away from having the chance to make it a one-possession game, Crump again hit a timely triple that turned out to be a dagger as it put UGA up 62-54 with just 1:54 left.  All 11 of Crump’s points came in the final 5 minutes of this contest.

Two key stats that were in UGA’s favor:

Second chance points: UGA 19, Tennessee 8.

Points in the paint: UGA 29, Tennessee 19.

Not to sound like a broken record, but both Ogbeide and Maten can’t be praised enough for how well they outplayed the Tennessee frontcourt duo of Williams and Admiral Schoefield.  In addition to Williams’s struggles, Schoefield had a lackluster outing as well as he shot just 5 of 13 from the floor en route to 11 points.  UGA’s two bigs outscored these guys by a tally of 35 to 16, and that was probably the difference in the game.

Box score:

uga-tenntennessee uga



Up next

Georgia heads to Columbia on Wednesday to look for revenge against a South Carolina team that just snapped a six-game losing streak with an impressive upset win over #10 Auburn.

As both UGA and college basketball fans, we have a tendency to start thinking things like “If my team does this and this and this, then they should be in the NCAA Tournament, right?” My advice: don’t do that.  This week was big for Georgia basketball as it injected life into a season that appeared to be spiraling downward, and it might have saved Coach Fox’s job.  However, it’s also the first time UGA has won consecutive SEC games since January 3rd and 6th when the Dawgs beat Ole Miss and Alabama.  At this point, Georgia’s still not anywhere close to sniffing the NCAA Tournament, and for now, that’s fine.  UGA fans should enjoy these last two wins because they both seemed highly improbable after last Saturday’s home loss to Auburn.

Georgia has another opportunity to further distance itself from the cellar of the SEC on Wednesday, and hopefully that’s this team’s only focus.

18 thoughts on “Georgia wins second in a row with upset of #18 Tennessee

  1. Even though UT came in ranked 18th, from the start I thought the teams looked evenly matched. Big inside, not that great knocking down shots on the perimeter. Dawgs were solid throughout. I don’t remember any long scoring droughts. Maybe they had one but I don’t remember it. The guard play was great defensively. Vols were held to 8-25 on threes. Meanwhile over on our side, Turtle and Crump both hit big threes. Crump in these last two games has a penchant for hitting a dramatic three in the closing minutes. This was a really fun game to watch and a great win!

    Still, despite two nice back to back wins, I hope you’re wrong about Fox saving his job. That means another year of moaning and complaining about his boring offense and calling for him to be fired. Also, recently Fox has inexplicably blamed his team’s slump on an inability to replace Frazier. Good luck replacing Maten next year!


  2. Due to a cable outage I only got to see the last 5:47 of he game (with the good guys up 51-49 at the time). As I
    had tuned out of the Florida game with us down 4 and Fla inbounding with :26 left, I was going to make sure I watched this one till the final buzzer. Glad I did. I guess I saw about all of Crump’s production in that time but, man, did he look good during that final run. Big O and Yante were dominating down low ( like they should in most of our games), and we were playing with the toughness of a Harrick team. Alas, can we necessarily expect that to carry over to Columbia on Wednesday? I’m not holding my breath. Frank Martin is a very smart basketball coach and I am sure he will have a plan to counter our newer wrinkles on offense. And if he succeeds, I have scant faith that the Georgia brain trust will have a plan B to implement and forestall a long scoring drought of the kind that has killed us in several games.
    This is why I concur with Dawgie Daddy that the time for a change has come. Yes, it would be nice if we made a run to the Big Dance, but even if, this would be the perfect scenario to thank Mark Fox for what he has done by stabilizing our (clean) program and promoting the education of his charges, and to move on. That is pretty much what we ended up doing with Mark Richt and that change worked out well. I am really sorry that both Richt and Fox couldn’t get it done as both are good men with strong educational values. But after following the roundball Dawgs for 46 years (42 as a season ticket holder), I want someone in here who can excite the fan base and be in the dance every year.


      1. Sansho1 it’s funny how everyone except you thought that Crump played well!! Uga won the last two games because fox has started coaching to Crump’s strenth which is pick and roll… he’s a great decision maker and damn good shooter so that puts a lot of pressure on defense! Instead of you acknowledging that uga got a quality and much needed win, you rather come on here and knock Crump! Fukin hater!


        1. Check mate!!! Sansho1 knows nothing about basketball because if he did he wouldn’t allow his brain to process that bullshit he typed on her crump is the x factor and if fox wants to look like a tournament team keep playing number 4 about damn time tho


        2. I appreciate you reading the blog. You’re right, Crump has been big for Georgia the past two games. Let’s try and tone down the profanity, though, as we are all UGA basketball fans.


    1. I think Fox did indeed save his job with those 2 wins. McGarity is know where near wanting to make the change and he will point to those 2 wins as Fox showing fortitude. I would like to see know what McGarity’s vision is for the program. Don’t think he would admit it but I think he is ok making the tournament every 8 years and being a perennial NIT contender. For now, let’s hope for a strong finish.


  3. “At this point, Georgia’s still not anywhere close to sniffing the NCAA Tournament, and for now, that’s fine.”

    I am happy about the last two wins, but I disagree with this sentiment. UMass, Kansas State, South Carolina, Arkansas…flip those four and we are playing for our seed right now. And that’s not even mentioning the debacles at Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

    This was a tournament team from day 1, and the fact that they’re not in the discussion is NOT fine. I hope they close strong; I hope for a win every time out. But yet again, the team has not lived up to potential.


    1. I agree. I am on a FB group with a bunch of football only fans and they have a hard time seeing my discontent with this season. This could have, should have been a tournament team and that’s on Fox. Next year is most likely a rebuilding year.


  4. Amen, Hoops. Perfect scenario is to finish strong – perhaps even sneak into the Dance- and replace Fox. But let’s be realistic. Fox will find a way to squelch this momentum, like he did after the Ole Miss/Alabama wins.

    Again, all I want is to enjoy UGA basketball again- Fox makes it very hard to do this.


  5. Damn the hate for Crump is real! Am I missing something on Crump. Kid hit 2 game breaking 3s and scored 11 pts last 5 minutes of game. Would u rather his production be spread out, I’m lost! What did Crump do no other player Has done or did!


  6. The hate IS real!! The haters claim that Crump is no savior of our season- which I agree with- and then when he plays as bad as everyone else, or even when he does something good in a game when he also plays poorly at times- the haters claim vindication. I’m just glad he is getting a chance to play and develop, something that CMF had no interest in before


  7. Crump had a positive hand in all three wins over ranked teams—St Mary’s, Florida and Tennessee. If Fox had given Crump a long leash like Turtle. We might not be in this precarious situation


  8. Huge game tonight vs the Cocks. Win and we are squarely on the bubble with two winnable home games coming up. Lose and we can forget NCAA.


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