Behind an impressive defensive performance, the Georgia men’s basketball team downed No. 25 South Carolina, 69-56, Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. This marked the Bulldog’s first win against a ranked opponent since they defeated No. 21 Missouri on Jan. 8, 2014.
With the win Georgia (12-8, 5-4) now holds an all-time record of 56-50 against South Carolina (19-3, 6-3). The Bulldogs own a 33-16 edge in games played in Athens.
Senior guard Charles Mann became UGA’s all-time leader in career free-throws made. The Alpharetta, Georgia native currently has 551 makes from the charity stripe in his career, including a 4-6 performance tonight.
The Gamecocks finished the game shooting 31.6-percent from the field marking the 18th time in its last 20 games that Georgia has held its opponent below their season shooting average. South Carolina came into the contest shooting 43.8-percent from the field.
“That was a really hard-fought game,” head coach Mark Fox said. “We beat a terrific basketball team. We beat a team that I vote every week in the top-25 and a team that I will vote in the top-25 next week. I think they are terrific. That’s a really good win for our players and our team. That was a really great crowd that helped us and we leave here with a great feeling.”
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick six-point lead after Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines hit three-point baskets on Georgia’s first two possessions. The Gamecocks slowly crawled back before eventually grabbing its first lead at the 14:29 mark. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-2 run that would give them the lead for the remainder of the half. Georgia’s defense gave South Carolina fits for the entire first period. The Gamecocks were held to a season-low 21.4-percent shooting for the half as Georgia took a 33-23 lead into the break.
Georgia came out of the locker rooms firing with a three-pointer by J.J. Frazier, but the Gamecocks wouldn’t be denied bringing the score within four with 12:51 left in the contest. The Bulldogs had an answer down the stretch knocking down several big baskets including several three-pointers from Frazier, who scored all of his 13 points in the second half. UGA defense held strong during the final ten minutes suffocating any offense the Gamecocks had to offer, eventually taking a commanding lead in the final few minutes. Georgia knocked down its free throws late to win the game, 69-56.