Following a heartbreaking loss on the road against LSU in overtime, Georgia had a quick opportunity to bounce back on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena against the Arkansas Razorbacks. That did not come close to happening, as Arkansas beat Georgia 99-69 in a game that only got more lopsided as time ticked on.
Facing a six point halftime deficit, it felt like the Bulldogs had a path back into the game if they made some halftime adjustments. However, the exact opposite of that happened as Arkansas went on a 12-0 scoring run early in the second half and never looked back.
“They punched us in the mouth early in the second half and we didn’t respond to it,” said Georgia head coach Tom Crean. “Today was the first time somebody has just absolutely came at us that way, in that second half, because in the first half we were doing some good things.”
The Razorbacks came in leading the SEC in points-per-game and again put on an impressive performance after losing their last two games. Arkansas shot 52% from the field and a remarkable 57% from 3-point range.
Coach Crean was clear after the game on why he thought Georgia struggled so badly defensively on Saturday afternoon.
“It was effort,” said Crean. “Communication falls under effort, hustle back in transition falls under effort, guarding the first dribble falls under effort, giving up drives, that’s all effort related. Our effort was not nearly good enough on guarding the ball.”
The shift in the game was the Razorbacks absolute dominance in the second half. Arkansas ended up outscoring Georgia 56-32 in the second-half, at one point extending the lead as high as 35 points during a 39-10 scoring run. Contrast that with Georgia shooting 26% from three on 19 attempts, and it was easy to see why this game was not close.
Georgia had no answer for the Razorbacks’ freshman leading scorer Moses Moody, who totaled a game-high 25 points. Davonte Davis also added 20 points for Arkansas on 9-of-13 shooting. The Razorbacks also outrebounded Georgia, had more assists and committed fewer turnovers, effectively winning every statistic on the box score.
Toumani Camara scored the first eight points of the game for Georgia, but later got into foul trouble which contributed to him only scoring 15 points for the game. Andrew Garcia also added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
After one of the best starts in recent Georgia basketball history at 7-0, it seems like Georgia’s season is on the brink of going bad. While the fast-pace play and high scoring games can be fun for fans to watch at times, they’ve led to too many turnovers and a lack of a low-post threat, both of which have hurt the Bulldogs this year.
“I’m just more concerned right now about making sure we bounce back from this and get ready for Auburn,” said Crean.
Georgia will look to get in the conference win column when they take on Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum next Wednesday. Luckily for Georgia, the Tigers are also winless in conference play. Arkansas will travel to LSU on Wednesday, in a matchup of the SEC’s two highest-scoring teams.