Daily Dawg Thread: March 14, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: March 14, 2024

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SEC Tourney: Georgia (17-15, 6-12 SEC) vs. Florida (21-10, 11-7 SEC) at 9:15 tonight

Time: 25 minutes after Game 1 of the session at approximately 9:15

Venue: Bridgestone Arena (19,395)





Location: Nashville, Tenn.

Series History: UF leads, 124-105

Last Meeting: UF, 88-82, on 2/17/24





TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Dane Bradshaw, color analyst; Alyssa Lang, sideline reporter)

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network – SiriusXM 106 or 190 (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, color analyst; Adam Gillespie, producer)

The Starting Five

• Georgia will face Florida in the second round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday night, at approximately 9:15 ET…25 minutes after the conclusion of the evening’s first game.

• With Wednesday’s win over Missouri, Georgia improved its records this season to 8-7 in games that were one-possession contests in the final 5:00 and 6-4 in matchups that were separated by three points or less in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

• With Wednesday’s win over Missouri, Georgia improved to 27-2 (.931) in games when the Bulldogs have held their opponents under 70 points during Mike White’s two seasons in Athens. UGA is 6-29 (.171) when allowing opponents to reach the 70-point plateau. 

• Freshmen Blue Cain enjoyed a career night in the Bulldogs’ SEC Tournament win over Missouri, recording his highest tallies of 19 points, three assists, four steals and five 3-pointers.

• Georgia is ranked No. 21 nationally in bench scoring at 28.4 ppg. The Bulldogs’ bench has outscored its opponents in 25 of 32 games with a season scoring margin of +300…or +9.4 ppg.

The Opening Tip

Georgia will face Florida on Thursday evening in the second round of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs saw a 12-point first-half lead flip to an eight-point second-half deficit against Missouri. Down seven with 3:27 to play, Justin Hill scored seven points to lead Georgia on a 12-0 run to end the contest. The victory was the Bulldogs’ first in SEC Tournament play since March 11, 2020 – the day before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended all sporting events for several months. 

The contest followed a common theme with many of the Bulldogs’ games this season. Fifteen of 32 outings – 46.9 percent – were one-possession games in the final 5:00. Ten of those were still within three points in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Noah Thomasson is Georgia’s leading scorer at 12.7 ppg

Jabri Abdur-Rahim also is scoring at a double-figure pace for the Bulldogs at 12.2 ppg, largely due to sporting team-high shooting percentages of .356 from 3-point range and .887 at the free throw line. Abdur-Rahim missed the last three games due to an ankle injury, the first DNPs of his career at Georgia. Prior to that, Abdur-Rahim had played in 93 straight contests. 

A balanced offensive attack features five more players contributing between 7.4-9.7 ppg.

Four Bulldogs upped their scoring averages from their non-conference contributions to SEC play, topped by Russel Tchewa’s jump of 3.2 ppg (from 6.1 to 9.3).

SB: Sara Mosley leads Dawgs over Jackets

Sara Mosley

The fifth-ranked Georgia softball team defeated Georgia Tech 6-3 on Wednesday evening in front of a crowd of 1,312 at Jack Turner Stadium. Fifth-year Sara Mosley highlighted the game, hitting a pair of two-run home runs.

Georgia climbs to 21-3 on the season. The win snapped Georgia Tech’s (18-8) 15-game win streak heading into the rivalry matchup.

Jayda Kearney finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate, also hitting a home run. Lyndi Rae Davis drew three walks out of the leadoff spot. Sophomore Tyler Ellison hit her first-career home run in a pinch-hit opportunity late in the game.

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Lilli Backes (8-1) earned the win in her start, working into the seventh inning. She struck out five, allowing three runs on two hits. Backes took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning. Shelby Walters pitched the seventh inning, slamming the door on the Yellow Jackets’ comeback bid.

Georgia wasted no time putting runs on the board, first on a two-run home run from Mosley, followed by a solo shot off the bat of Kearney to go up 3-0 in the first.

Mosley’s second two-run home run of the game lengthened the Dogs’ lead to 5-0 in the home half of the fifth.

Ellison’s first career home run in the sixth extended the lead to 6-0.

Georgia Tech attempted a late-inning comeback in the seventh. After a walk and a hit by pitch, a two-run double broke up Backes’ shutout. Walters entered to pitch with one on, no out. Following a strikeout and a popup, a single plated another Jacket run to cut the lead to 6-3. A flyout to center ended the comeback bid.

The Bulldogs open Southeastern Conference play this weekend at Jack Turner Stadium when the Alabama Crimson Tide comes to town. The three-game series opens Friday evening at 6 p.m. The Dogs and Tide square off at noon, both Saturday and Sunday, live on SEC Network.

Head Coach Tony Baldwin

On what the team can take from this win into SEC play…

“The fact that we’ve played a lot of tough games. We played really good competition. We played a lot of ranked teams, and they aren’t always easy. It’s not always going to go the way you script it and how you want it, and it’s not in a neat and tidy package. And I think we’ve learned that we can play in that environmen, and that’s what we’ll take into this weekend against another really good opponent. If we just continue to follow our blueprint for success, the things that we deem really important in terms of how you win softball games, and we keep trying to execute in those areas, then the outcomes will take care of themselves.”

 On the depth of this team…

“We have a lot of people that can contribute, and I think that gives us an opportunity to arrange our lineup for matchups. It gives us the opportunity to alive the pressure off some of the players. Naturally, teams and players go through waves, and with the depth that we have, we’re able to minimize the depth of some of those waves. We don’t have to leave anybody out there to struggle so we can just keep running good players out there. And if we can keep doing that, that keeps everybody fresh mentally, physically, emotionally, and that gives us the best chance to be successful.”

#33 Sara Mosley | Fifth Year | INF

On how the strong start impacted the team’s confidence…

“Just believing in ourselves and trusting our process, and the strong start is what we want. It’s always what we want. We always love beating a good rival, and so having a good competition and having that strong beginning just lets our confidence bloom.”

On her mindset, hitting her second home run with a 3-2 count…

“I’m just staying true to my zone and really just feeling the pitch. I don’t really think when I’m in the box. I just see a pitch and hit it. 3-2 count, I hit one foul, and then she threw it in the zone, and I was going to hit it.”

ICYMI Videos: Pro Day Interviews – Kirby Smart, Brock Bowers, Sedrick Van Pran, Javon Bullard and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

MBB Interviews/Highlights: Georgia advances in SEC Tourney with win over Missouri, 64-59

Despite trailing through most of the second half, the Georgia men’s basketball team never backed down as it capped off the night with a 12-0 run to come back and defeat Missouri, 64-59, in the Southeastern Conference Tournament first round at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday.

The victory earns the Bulldogs (17-15, 6-12 SEC) their first conference tournament round win since 2020, where they defeated Ole Miss 81-63 in the first round. Blue Cain led the Bulldogs with a new career-high 19 points powered by five 3-pointers on the night along with five rebounds and four steals. Justin Hill followed right behind in the scoring effort with 17 points, with 10 coming in the first half. Noah Thomasson and RJ Melendez contributed 10 points each while Russel Tchewa led the Bulldogs on the glass with six boards and five points.

Despite both teams having early shooting struggles at the start, the Bulldogs found their stroke as they knocked down five three pointers in the first 10 minutes, building a 19-9 lead at the under-8 media timeout. Georgia used good shooting and second chance opportunities to maintain a strong lead deep into the half, but Missouri (8-24, 0-18 SEC) sparked momentum late with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit and trail 31-30 heading into the locker room.

Heading into the second half, the Tigers opened the period with a 13-4 run to lead 43-35. The Bulldogs battled back, cutting the deficit to 53-52 thanks to three 3-pointers in a row from Cain. Trailing by seven with just over three minutes to go, Georgia flipped a switch and sparked what became a 12-0 run highlighted by a Hill 3-pointer to regain the lead at 60-59 with just over 1:30 left to play. Missouri searched for a late bucket to go back on top, but Bulldogs escaped, converting on two trips to the free throw line to close out the Tigers and advance to the next round.

Georgia will move on to the SEC Tournament second round where it will face the 6-seeded Florida Gators on Thursday, March 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET at Bridgestone Arena. The Bulldogs dropped both home-and-away matchups against the Gators this season, falling 88-82 at Stegeman Coliseum and 102-98 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Georgia is 1-2 all-time against Florida when both programs meet in the SEC Tournament.

Five Fast Facts

• Blue Cain led the Bulldogs in scoring for the fourth time this season, setting a new career-high 19 points in the win.

• Blue Cain set a new career-high in 3-pointers made in a game with five on the night.

• Justin Hill finished with 17 points, posting 10 in the first half while averaging 8.9 points/game entering tonight’s matchup.

• Dylan James recorded a new career-high in assist with three on the night.

• The Bulldogs won the bench scoring battle 30-15 against the Tigers.

Georgia’s Postgame Presser

Video Highlights

Key Quote

Head Coach Mike White: “What a game huh? That was like a bowl game. It’s big and we’ve got another opportunity to play another really good team tomorrow, you know, an NCAA Tournament team. We’re hoping we can play some postseason. I love coaching these guys. We want to prolong this season as much as possible and continue to build our program.”

Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Bulldogs by following UGA Men’s Basketball on social media on Facebook, Instagram and X @UGABasketball, and the web at GeorgiaDogs.com.

Box Score

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.