The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Yante Maten with 20 points marking his seventh 20-point scoring output in the last 10 games. Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines added 15 and 14 points, respectively. Freshman Derek Ogbeide scored a career-high nine points and added 10 rebounds while making several key plays down the stretch.
“The hard thing was that we had some key guys in foul trouble,” head coach Mark Fox said. “Yante and Charles each got four fouls very early in the second half, so we were not as good offensively once we got to that point. We kept battling and I was really proud of how hard we competed, we just couldn’t finish it.”
The Rebels jumped out to an early 15-5 lead just 4:37 into the contest, but the Bulldogs weathered the storm. Seniors Gaines and Mann stepped up pushing to the Bulldogs to a 20-5 run over a 10-minute span. Maten played a large part in the Bulldogs’ run, scoring eight of his ten first-half points during the run. Georgia finished the first period shooting 41.2-percent from the floor while going 11-12 from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs held the Rebels to 38.7-percent shooting to take a 44-35 lead into the break.
Maten was first to score in the second half, but the Rebels responded with an 8-3 run of their own before Maten hit his first three-point basket of the season just before the first media timeout of the half to push to score to 52-43. UGA answered each of Ole Miss’ shots over the course of the next several minutes heading into the second media timeout of the half.
Georgia held a 60-56 lead with 7:58 remaining in the contest before the Rebels tied things up at 62-62 several minutes later. The Bulldogs' leading scorer, Maten, was forced to sit for the final three minutes of the game after being charged with his fifth personal foul under the hoop. Shortly after UGA surrendered its lead for the first time of the half at the 2:56 mark after an Ole Miss free throw from Anthony Perez. The Rebels’ Stefan Moody hit a contested layup with four seconds left in the game that ultimately proved to be the game winner.
The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday to host the Tennessee Volunteers at 7 p.m. ET at Stegeman Coliseum. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.