Sophomore forward Yante Maten recorded his sixth double-double of the season, and second in a row, with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Georgia (13-9, 6-5) fell on the road to No. 22 Kentucky (18-6, 8-3) by a final score of 82-48 on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.
The Bulldogs never got comfortable offensively in the contest, shooting a season-low .220 clip from the field and having only one player reach the double-digit scoring plateau. The visiting team did perform well from the charity stripe, hitting 23 of 27 free throws in the contest for an 85.2-percent conversion rate. Kentucky also puzzled Georgia on the other end of the floor as the Wildcats put up 82 points on 51.8-percent shooting from the field.
“It was a very tough night,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. “We didn’t play well. Kentucky’s a very good team. We folded at the end of the first half and never threatened afterwards. We didn’t do the things we needed to do anywhere close to the way we needed to do them to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Georgia started strong on the offensive end, with Maten cashing in for four quick points as the Bulldogs claimed a 4-2 lead in the early running. The Wildcats punched back quickly and effectively, using a hot shooting start to spark a 20-9 run and take a sizable nine-point lead before the halfway point in the first half.
The Georgia defense then clamped down, holding Kentucky scoreless for more than six minutes, but the Bulldogs were only able to cut the lead to six before the Wildcats got back on the board to claim a 26-18 lead.
Kentucky took control of the game in the later stages of the first half as Georgia sputtered on the offensive end, failing to make a field goal in the final 13:36 of the opening frame. The Wildcats closed the half on an 18-6 run, and the teams head to the locker room with the home squad leading 42-24.
Kentucky started fast in the second half, using a 10-0 run to increase the distance between the teams. A driving layup by Mann broke the skid as well as ended the Bulldogs’ cold stretch from the field, and Maten sunk a layup soon after to reach double-digit scoring.
Georgia struggled to dent the Wildcat lead, though, as the home team settled in to its comfortable cushion, coasting to an 82-48 victory.