Mark Fox repeatedly called the loss to No. 23 Arkansas a “high-level game.” Sure, the Bulldogs were hyped to be playing the second best team in the SEC to start off conference play. To add to the hype, the Dawgs had not lost at home yet this season. Then throw in the fact that nearly 8,000 were in attendance — presumably the product of the team’s recent winning streak and UGA students still putting aside school responsibilities for the notorious “drop/add week.”
But maybe that’s what this team needs to play at a level that will earn them at spot at the tournament.
J.J. Frazier talked after the Norfolk State game about how important energy can be on the court, and after tonight, it would be hard to disagree with him after the performance the Bulldogs had against a ranked SEC opponent, who, as Fox pointed out, beat Kentucky twice last season.
Spreading the wealth
Rather than one guy put on a show, five Georgia players scored in the double digits Tuesday night. Senior forward Nemanja Djurisic lead the team with 16 points and went up and got seven rebounds. Marcus Thornton and Juwan Parker tied with 11 points, while Kenny Gaines and Frazier each had a dime.
“We’re continuing to play good basketball. Our defense was the difference in this game and we had a lot of heroes come off the bench,” Thornton said.
Tuesday’s game didn’t see quite the array of personnel that the Norfolk State game did, nor did anyone expect that. But the players that got minutes, made it count.
Not a total loss
Though the outcome does put a tally in the L column, the Bulldogs played very well in the first half and showed a lot of tenacity in the final minutes of the game. The second half is where Georgia lost the game.
“We just got outplayed in the second half. That’s it. Bottomline. They outplayed us. We didn’t play with poise in the second half,” Frazier said.
If the Bulldogs can manage to pull together a full 40 minutes of the type of basketball they played in the first period against Arkansas, a trip the tournament shouldn’t be a problem. But the first loss of the season is a hard pill to swallow and the Bulldogs have to bounce back and travel to LSU, the No. 3 team in the SEC, on Saturday.