Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’
Georgia’s string of miraculous finishes orchestrated by J.J. Frazier came to a screeching halt today in Hogville as Arkansas punished the Dawgs 85-67 in Fayetteville this afternoon. A game that was close for the first twenty minutes quickly spiraled out of control for UGA as Arkansas began to assert its will both offensively and defensively. Georgia followed up a 38% first half effort from the floor by shooting just 25% after the break, while Arky made over 60% of its shots in the game’s final twenty minutes.
The Razorbacks started the second half with a 10-2 run that saw their 38-37 halftime lead blossom to 48-39 with 17:30 left. With a little over 15 minutes remaining, J.J. picked up his 4th foul and had to sit with his team trailing 53-44. Arkansas brutalized the Dawgs in Frazier’s absence, going on a 9-2 run that put them up 62-46 with 11:46 remaining. Frazier would return, but it would not matter. The Hogs continued to score without much resistance and coasted to a relatively easy home win.
UGA’s defense failed big time on Saturday. The Dawgs’ zone looked out of sorts all afternoon, especially on defending cutters inside the lane. Georgia’s rotations by its help defenders were basically nonexistent, and Arkansas took advantage by racking up a whopping 48 points in the paint. The Razorbacks had 4 players finish in double-figures, and they shot over 55% from the field as a team. Maybe the Dawgs came into this game focused on locking down the perimeter, since Arkansas is the best three-point shooting team in SEC play. UGA managed to hold the Hogs to just 21% from beyond the arc, but it didn’t matter as Arky had a field day accumulating a plethora of easy baskets in the lane.
For Georgia, the sledding wasn’t nearly as simple on offense. The Razorback defense consistently pushed the UGA guards out well beyond the three-point arc, which forced the Dawgs into a number of off-balanced shots. Frazier led all scorers with 24 points, but he had to work hard for them as he routinely was the target of traps whenever he came off ball screens on the perimeter. Arkansas is much more talented than Alabama, LSU and Auburn. J.J. needed help on the outside, but he didn’t get it. Tyree Crump and Juwan Parker each shot 2 for 10 from the floor, and Turtle Jackson connected on just 2 of his 7 attempts. As amazing as Frazier has been in the past three wins, he wasn’t able to do it alone against a more talented Razorback defense.
The only other Bulldog to score in double-digits was Derek Ogbeide, who finished with 12 points to go along with 7 rebounds. He scored 10 of those points before the break, and then Ogbeide sort of disappeared in the second half as the Razorbacks ratcheted up the pace of this game.
Andy Katz labeled this one as a must win for Georgia if they hoped to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. With the loss, it would seem that UGA would need to reach the finals of the SEC Tournament to receive serious consideration for the Big Dance. The fact of the matter is that Georgia really doesn’t have many significant wins on its resume. Vanderbilt is the only RPI Top 50 team that the Dawgs have beaten this year. To play on into March in the only tournament that matters, Georgia probably needs to notch a couple of RPI Top 50 wins next week.
Georgia won a game it had to on Saturday, besting the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-10) 76-73 in overtime in Athens.
This Arkansas team did beat Vanderbilt in OT, and they lost by two the road against LSU earlier in the month. But, the Hogs also lost to Akron and Mercer back in the 2015 part of the season.
While this Razorback team did play aggressive man defense for much of the night, Georgia should not have had to work so hard to escape at home.
The Dawgs seemingly had this one wrapped up in overtime following a layup by Yante Maten that put his team up 74-68 with only 31 seconds left. However, Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann missed their next four free throws, which put Arkansas in a position to tie the game with 6 seconds remaining. Fortunately for UGA, Anthlon Bell’s half court prayer fell way short, giving Georgia the victory.
The Dawgs were very fortunate to even see OT. After falling behind 64-62 with 47 ticks on the clock, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier earned a trip to the line with an opportunity to tie the game. Both Frazier’s attempts clunked off the rim, but luckily for the Dawgs Arkansas’s Moses Kingsley fell down securing the rebound, giving UGA the ball via a traveling violation.
Frazier scored on the ensuing possession to tie the game, but the Hogs still had possession with a chance to win and just 24 seconds remaining. Coach Anderson’s team couldn’t capitalize though, tossing the ball out of bounds off of a deflection by Kenny Paul Geno. The culmination of both of those extremely fortunate plays enabled UGA to see overtime, which ultimately led to the win.
Offensively, the Dawgs were carried by Frazier, who scored a team-high 26 points. Georgia’s offense is so dependent upon Frazier right now it’s scary. Without him, well, it’s just hard to imagine what that might look like.
Yante Maten went for yet another double-double, netting 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Kenny Gaines was the only other UGA player to finish in double-digits, scoring 16 points.
The Hogs were led offensively by Dusty Hannahs, who dropped a team-high 24 points.
Charles Mann went 3 for 9 from the floor, which has become typical for him, ending up with only 8 points.
The Dawgs’ free throw shooting almost led to their demise in tonight’s contest as UGA hit just 53% from the charity stripe. Georgia’s inconsistency at the line this season has left the door open for opposing teams in a number of games.
Georgia crushed Arkansas on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 46-36. UGA did shoot the ball better than Arky (44% to 39%), so some rebounding discrepancy should be expected. However, Georgia had 13 offensive boards to the Hogs’ 9, yet the Dawgs had just 2 more second chance points.
Coach Mark Fox got only 2 points from his bench, while Mike Anderson saw his reserves score 21 points on the night. Turtle Jackson, Kenny Paul Geno, Mike Edwards and Derek Obeide went a combined 0 for 4 from the field. Edwards did manage to snag 7 rebounds, though. Still, Georgia must get more production from its bench going forward, or they are going to struggle, especially on the road.
Speaking of the road, UGA has two away games next week: a conference game at LSU and then a difficult non-conference matchup in Waco against Baylor.
While beating Arkansas did bolster Georgia’s overall record to 11-6 and 4-3 in the SEC, it did little to improve UGA’s NCAA stock. The Razorbacks’s RPI is 100.
Winning in Baton Rouge would be great, but the Tigers possess an RPI of 95. Earning a victory against a ranked Baylor team with an RPI of 15 – well, that would be amazing.
Georgia Coach Mark Fox opted to hold Kenny Gaines out of Saturday’s game against Arkansas after he reaggravated a foot injury the day before in UGA’s win over South Carolina. With Gaines sidelined, the Dawgs looked to Charles Mann and J.J. Frazier to pick up the slack in the scoring department – unfortunately, those two were frigid, combining for only 7 points on a combined 2 for 13 shooting performance from the floor. The Dawgs struggled as a team offensively, connecting on just 32% of their field goal attempts, and Georgia lost 60-49 to the Razorbacks, ending UGA’s SEC Tournament.
The bad news is that Georgia took a step back on offense; the good news is that they should live to fight another day – that day being next Thursday or Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This game had a bad feel from the start, with Georgia mustering just 4 points through the first 8 minutes of play. Despite the Dawgs’ offensive futility, Coach Fox’s team managed to hang around for much of the first half, but the Hogs closed out the final five minutes with a 13-5 run that gave them a 25-17 advantage at the break.
For the most part, Georgia never recovered from this point.
Arkansas pushed its lead to as much as 19 points after Anthlon Bell nailed a three pointer from the wing, making it 44-25 Hogs with 13:08 left. UGA kept it moderately close for the remaining portion of the game, but the Dawgs never really threatened Arkansas in the final quarter of this contest.
Coach Fox got his best performances form Marcus Thornton and Cameron Forte, both of whom finished in double-figures. Thornton netted 13 points to go along with 12 boards for a double-double, and Forte chipped in a solid 13 points off the bench.
Arkansas was led offensively by Michael Qualls, who scored 15 points on the afternoon.
This loss leaves Georgia 0-5 against the RPI Top 25 on the season, but the Dawgs should still feel secure about their NCAA bid. The latest Bracketolgy from Joe Lunardi projected UGA as a 10-seed, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they landed anywhere between 7 and 12.
Regardless of today’s game, hats off to Coach Fox and his team for putting together another successful campaign. Along with finishing 3rd in the SEC this year, UGA seems destined for a meaningful postseason, which is something that hasn’t happened often for basketball teams from Athens in the past decade.
The Georgia Bulldogs’ six-game winning streak and their perfect home record officially came to an end after Michael Qualls sunk a pair of free throws to put his team up 79-75 with just 4 seconds remaining. Just several plays earlier, it had seemed that Qualls had put his stamp on the game when he finished a breakaway with an emphatic dunk that gave Arkansas a 76-70 lead with only 27 ticks left. But, a three-pointer from J.J. Frazier, followed up by a layup from Marcus Thornton after a botched inbounds play by Arkansas, and UGA was only down 2 points with a little less than 5 seconds on the clock. For a brief moment, Georgia held slim glimmer of hope before Qualls, who finished with 17 points, sunk the two aforementioned free throws.
This loss will surely not sit well with this team or its fans. The Dawgs played an incredibly controlled first half offensively, not letting the Arkansas pressure dictate their purpose. Before the break, UGA had knocked down 6 of its season-high 9 three-pointers, taking a 44-37 advantage into the intermission.
In the second half though, Coach Mark Fox’s team started to unravel. After building up a 57-49 advantage on a Neme Djuriisic tip-in with 13:12 remaining, UGA’s offense stalled, going nearly 8 minutes without a field goal until Yante Maten converted a layup on a break that helped reclaim the lead for his team at 64-63 with 5:52 left.
After shooting nearly 58% in the game’s first half, Georgia managed to hit only 34% of its field goals after the break. The Dawgs’ ball security became a lot looser in the second half as well as UGA committed 11 of its 17 turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
Arkansas was led offensively by Bobby Portis, who scored 21 points and proved to be a very difficult matchup for the UGA bigs.
Georgia’s scoring was very balanced, with five players finishing in double-digits; Neme led all scorers with 16 points to go along with 7 rebounds.
After building up a lead that got as high as thirteen points in the first half, the Dawgs no doubt have to feel as though they let one slip through their fingertips. At 0-1 in the conference, Georgia really has its work cut out for them with back-to-back road games coming up – LSU on Saturday night and Vandy next Wednesday. If UGA cannot find a way to steal a game away from Athens, they could find themselves at 0-3 in the SEC when they take on Florida a week from Saturday.
In the first meeting between Arkansas and Georgia in Athens – a game which UGA won 67-61 – Michael Qualls scored just 3 points on a 1 for 10 shooting performance from the floor.
Unfortunately for the Dawgs, Qualls made amends for that game on Saturday inside Bud Walton Arena, where he scored 20 points to go along with 3 steals. Throughout much of the game, Qualls served as the catalyst in the Hogs’ full-court press, which gave Georgia fits for much of the afternoon.
Arkansas turned UGA over 16 times in Fayetteville with Brandon Morris and Charles Mann leading the way with 7 and 6, respectively. In Georgia’s press offense, Morris and Mann are usually the primary ball-handlers, so when they are coughing it up a combined 13 times to the other team things typically don’t pan out well for the Dawgs.
Despite all of the turnovers, Arkansas could not put Georgia away in the second half, seemingly leaving the door open for a UGA comeback. After shooting nearly 60% from the floor before the break, Arky went cold in the second half, making just 40% of its field goal attempts and connecting on only 1 of 9 shots from beyond the arc.
The problem, though, was that UGA shot the ball worse, hitting less than 30% of its field goals following the intermission. Aside from Kenny Gaines and Marcus Thornton, Georgia did not have much going on on the offensive end of the floor. Gaines, who connected on 6 of 9 threes, scored a game-high 25 points, and Thornton chipped in 13 points to go along with 6 boards.
Charles Mann, who had as many turnovers as points, only scored 2 points in the second half, and he sat on the bench for the final stretch of the game after Coach Fox appeared tired of watching Mann’s carelessness.
Georgia did cut the Arkansas advantage to as low as 5 points after Kenny Gaines hit a pair of free throws to make it 65-60 with just 4:43 remaining. But the Hogs responded immediately and in less than a minute the score was 70-60 after Rashad Madden connected on the team’s only three-pointer of the half.
UGA didn’t have another run in them, and the Hogs cruised to the 87-75 victory.
A disconcerting by-product of yesterday’s loss is that Georgia’s hold on third place in the SEC is now a lot less secure. Both Arkansas and Tennessee are just one game behind the Dawgs in the standings with two games remaining on the conference slate, and these two teams would win any kind of two-way or three-way tie-breakers that might exist with UGA should their conference records end up the same.
Georgia has a winnable home game against Missy State on Tuesday, but then the Dawgs have to hit the road again for a difficult regular-season finale in Baton Rouge versus the LSU Tigers.
Arkansas and Tennessee’s final two games seem less daunting than Georgia’s since each team has a much easier road game this week. The Hogs get Ole Miss at home before heading to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama (6-10). The Vols travel to Auburn (5-11) before ending the season at home against Missouri.
Obviously anything is possible and there is still week of basketball to be played, but Georgia’s chances of reaching the finals of the SEC basketball tournament seem much more favorable as the 3-seed. At the 3-seed, UGA could avoid Florida – the only team that truly seems unbeatable in this conference.
At the 3-seed, Georgia could potentially play in a winnable semifinal game against Kentucky, a team that is currently in the midst of a two-game losing streak and reeling from Saturday’s loss to SEC bottom-dweller South Carolina (4-12).
Georgia has two games left on the schedule, and the only way to ensure a 3-seed in the conference tournament is to win both of them.
The Arkansas Razorbacks have two different teams – their “home” team and their “away” team. At home, the Hogs have recorded a perfect 6-0 conference record, including an 80-69 upset victory over the Florida Gators on February 5th. The road has been less kind to Arkansas, where they have posted a 1-5 league mark.
Unfortunately for Georgia, the Dawgs must face the Razorbacks in Fayetteville on Thursday night.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson, a disciple of Norm Richardson, has brought back the “40 Minutes of Hell” defense to the Razorback program, and it has paid dividends. The Hogs relentless full-court pressure is generating nearly 9 steals per SEC contest, which is second in the league. In addition, Arkansas is turning teams over a conference-leading 18.6 times per game.
The Razorback defensive attack should pose an enormous challenge for a team like Georgia that has struggled to value the basketball all too often this season.
The Hogs are led offensively by sophomore guard B.J. Young and junior big Marshawn Powell. Young – a tremendous athlete – is netting 15.4 points per SEC game. Powell – last week’s SEC Player of the Week – is a tough match-up at his size because of his ability to score both close to and away from the basket, where he averaging 15.3 points and 5.3 boards in league contests.
While the Hogs have been quite stout at home, Georgia comes into this game sporting a 3-3 SEC road record, which ranks in the upper echelon of the conference in that category.
One UGA player (besides Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) who has played particularly well recently for Coach Mark Fox outside of Athens has been freshman guard Kenny Gaines. Gaines has scored in double-figures in Georgia’s last three road games at South Carolina, Tennessee and Ole Miss, averaging 12 points per contest while playing just 19 minutes per night.
As this year of college basketball continues to progress closer and closer to postseason play, the games begin to take on more of a magnitude for teams hoping to be considered for the NCAA Tournament. In ESPN’s most recent Bubble Watch, Arkansas was listed within the SEC’s group of bubble teams, meaning that Mike Anderson’s team will enter Thursday evening’s matchup knowing that they cannot afford to slip up at home against the Dawgs.
A Georgia win, though, would bolster Coach Fox’s team up into sixth place in the league, with a winnable Saturday home game against South Carolina on the horizon.
Beep, beep, beep, beep.
That’s the sound of the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team reversing into the SEC Tournament.
The Dawgs offense picked up right were it left off in the second half against Kentucky…stumbling.
Georgia got its first field goal against LSU on a Jeremy Price dunk with 14:52 remaining in the first half to put them up 4-2. After falling behind to the Tigers 2-0, Georgia was able to (slowly) go on a 9-2 run to put them up by 7 points with 12:52 left in the half.
Then LSU coach Trent Johnson switched his team into a zone defense that completely took the Dawgs out of their offense. The Tigers went on a 12-5 run of their own and tied the game at 14 apiece with 8:17 remaining.
The first half showcased some pretty horrendous shooting by both teams. Georgia finished the half hitting only 36.4% from the field, but LSU wouldn’t be outdone, knocking down a mere 26.9% from the floor.
The teams went into the break locked up at 20-20.
The second half featured more poor shooting, and Georgia continued to struggle with LSU’s zone defense. With 7:37 remaining in the game, Travis Leslie had scored only 1 point. Leslie (along with the other Georgia guards) was struggling to penetrate the Tiger zone and draw defenders off the dribble.
Coach Fox made a nice adjustment with Leslie, moving him down low to the baseline so he could follow the ball – Leslie scored 6 points in the second half (he finished with 7).
Despite the poor offensive play by Georgia, they still had the ball with the game tied 48-48 with under a minute to play. Dustin Ware brought the ball up the court, and then attempted to make a lob pass to Jeremy Price from well outside the three-point line…the ball sailed out-of-bounds.
LSU junior guard Bo Spencer knocked down a jumper on the next possession to put his Tigers up 50-48 with only 19 seconds left in the game.
The Dawgs moved the ball across half court and then called timeout to set up a play with 11 ticks on the clock.
Georgia in-bounded the ball and got it into Leslie’s hands on the right wing. It looked like Fox had instructed Leslie to get the ball to Thompkins on the block, but he couldn’t make the entry pass. Instead, Leslie dumped it to Jeremy Price in the middle of the floor and Price took a turnaround jumper from just inside the three-point line that clanked off the rim.
And the Dawgs dropped another game on the road, making them 0-11 overall and 0-8 in the SEC in games played away from the Steg.
Tasmin Mitchell led the Tigers with 20 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, ending his career at home as a winner.
Georgia finished the game shooting 36.5% from the field, and turned it over 16 times (Travis Leslie led the team with 6).
Trey Thompkins led Georgia with 19 points and 16 rebounds, yet he made only 7 of 23 from the floor. However, despite Trey’s poor shooting, he was the only Bulldog who looked comfortable with the ball in his hands and taking it to the basket.
For the second straight game Leslie looked a bit out of it on offense, and Ware and McPhee were pretty much non-factors (although to McPhee’s credit he did grab 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists).
The Dawgs finished the season 5-11 in the SEC and 13-16 overall. The NIT looks like it is now out of reach.
This was LSU’s second SEC conference win of the season.
The loss to the Tigers leaves Georgia with a lot of questions as they head into their opening round game against Arkansas next Thursday:
With an 0-11 road record, can the Dawgs realistically hope to close out a conference tournament game in Nashville?
Which Travis Leslie will be traveling to the tournament? Over the past two games, Leslie has made 7 of 22 field goals and scored a total of 15 points. Georgia cannot expect to go far in the tournament without Leslie’s offense.
What will the team’s confidence level be like riding a two-game losing streak?