Head coach Tom Crean and the Georgia men’s basketball team suffered their sixth straight SEC loss 80-86 to South Carolina Saturday in Athens, Ga. Georgia is now 10-11 overall and 1-7 in the conference.
While the Bulldogs struggled with finding a shooting rhythm and sticking with it the entire game, it was apparent that making baskets in the particularly in first 15 minutes of the game was difficult for the team. Whereas shooting for the Gamecocks came easily. They started off the game with a 7-0 run and it didn’t take long for the score to be pushed to 21-32 with 5:09 left in the half.
Tyree Crump opened up at about that time and pounded down the court to sink his first of four shots from beyond the arc, sparking a 7-0 run from Georgia as well.
“Once they see that I got that shot, they just kind of picked it up,” said Crump about the team’s newfound energy at the end of the first half
The Georgia score was padded by 22 successfully completed free throw shots due to South Carolina’s cumulative 21 personal fouls. Excessive fouling is something that the Bulldogs have struggled with in past games but they kept their number comparatively low with 14 totals. Ironically enough, Georgia had 14 turnovers as well which is the other area that the team improved in against the Gamecocks.
With 1:06 left in the game Turtle Jackson tightened the score gap to three points with a free throw. From there Georgia seemed to be scrambling. Nicolas Claxton missed two three-point shots in the last few seconds and Jackson missed one as well.
“I had no doubt that our team would come back. We were missing close-range shots. We were missing some lay-ups. We were staying on the glass. We were staying aggressive. So, it wasn’t about the offense,” said Crean. “We definitely missed some lay-ups, we missed some open threes, but today we didn’t guard the ball well enough and we didn’t guard the shooters well enough. Whether we were in man or we were in zone, we just did not have a hand up the way we needed to, and the basket started looking like Lake Michigan for them because it was open, and I’m disappointed in that because this team is improving in a lot of ways.”