The University of Georgia Men’s Basketball team was defeated by the Missouri Tigers 85-63 on Saturday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum as the Dawgs’ streak of blowout losses extends to 3 straight games.
Kario Oquendo led Georgia in scoring with 14 points in only 18 minutes of playing time, while Mardrez McBride and Braelen Bridges each contributed 12 apiece. D’Moi Hodge was on fire for the Tigers, leading all scorers with 18 points on 6 made 3-Pointers. Nick Honor also put forth an impressive performance from deep with 5 conversions beyond the arc on his way to dropping 17 points. Despite a quiet 8-point afternoon from Kobe Brown, who boasts the highest average points per game for Missouri, the Tigers had no trouble lighting up the scoreboard and finished the game with a field goal percentage of 58% and drained an impressive 14 of their 28 3-Point attempts.
Saturday’s contest was a tail of two halves, as the Dawgs’ all-senior starting lineup looked poised to begin the game on Senior Day and led by as many as 8 points with 9:37 to go in the first half before holding a 1-point halftime advantage. The second half, however, went rather poorly for Georgia who only mustered 19 field goal attempts while Missouri made 17. The 6 makes on those 19 attempts marked just a 31.6% second-half shooting performance, while the Dawgs doubled the Tigers turnover numbers in the second. Georgia finished with 19 turnovers, and Missouri certainly did not pass up opportunities to capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes, scoring 32 points off turnovers to Georgia’s 11. In addition to their impressive outside shooting, Missouri efficiently took it to the Dawgs inside, outpacing Georgia in paint points 32-18. In a postgame press conference, Mike White lamented the lack of touches for starting Center Brealen Bridges, who made all 5 of his field goal attempts, insinuating that the disparity in paint points might have been less drastic had the Dawgs taken advantage of mismatch opportunities for their big man.
The matinee matchup served, to an extent, as a microcosm of Georgia’s season. The day began with much optimism and excitement while honoring the Bulldog seniors. The Dawgs came out hot in knocking down 8 first-half 3-Pointers to energize the Stegeman audience before completely falling off a cliff after halftime. As the excitement swelled, however, the Dawgs came out of the locker room flat and scored 6 points in the first 9 minutes of the second half, giving the fans little to cheer for and a nudge to file out of the stadium with time left on the clock.
On the bright side, a joyful storyline for Georgia came to fruition in the first few minutes of action as Jailyn Ingram splashed a 3-Pointer to eclipse the 1,500 career point milestone. The sixth-year graduate forward from Madison, Georgia, has undoubtedly served as one of the premier leaders in the Georgia locker room for multiple seasons, and it was only fitting that he grasped the personal achievement on Senior Day in front of his home crowd.
The loss brings Georgia to 6-10 in conference play as the squad prepares for their last two games in hosting Florida on Tuesday and traveling to South Carolina on Saturday.