Against the No. 5 Auburn Tigers, the Georgia Bulldogs dropped their second straight conference game of the season losing to the Tigers 82-60 on Saturday afternoon. Georgia (10-5, 0-2 SEC) lost their conference opener to Kentucky Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum while Auburn remains undefeated on the year.
Freshman Anthony Edwards led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Junior Rayshaun Hammonds had another impressive outing, notching a double-digit point performance with 12, as well as one rebound shy of a double-double. Sophomore Tye Fagan came off the bench finishing with seven points and tying a career-high in steals with two.
Freshman Sahvir Wheeler got his first start in his career finishing the game with six points and three assists while playing 27 minutes.
“We’re just getting started,” Head Coach Tom Crean said at his post-game press conference. “Now we’ve got to play Tennessee, then we go to Mississippi State, then we go to Kentucky. We proved we can win on the road with Memphis so that was great. We certainly had our moments against Kentucky, but the other thing is we didn’t capitalize on points, on turnovers during the game. Fifteen to four. It was ten to zero points on turnovers in the second half. We were turning them over, there were turnovers, but we weren’t capitalizing on it. I think we had six turnovers in the last twelve minutes of the Kentucky game that we didn’t capitalize on. Really good teams capitalize on the other team’s turnovers and we are not doing that. When we turn somebody over, we’ve got to go get that easy basket. Our lack of confidence when things weren’t going well, even in some point-blank ways like a free throw or a layup, hurt us on the other end of the floor. We’ve got to be able to grow and get out of that.”
It was all Georgia early as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a couple of baskets by Hammonds and freshman Toumani Camara. Graduate transfer Donnell Gresham Jr. nailed a three, but Auburn started to fight their way back into the game shortly after that. The Tigers turned up the defensive pressure causing the Bulldogs to go cold, and they took the lead just at the eight-minute mark after a 12-2 run. From that point on, Auburn dominated Georgia for the rest of the game.
To end the first half, Auburn hit six of their last seven shots. Georgia didn’t help themselves as they went scoreless without a field goal for several minutes. Freshman Christian Brown finally sank a couple of free throws to end the half to cut the Auburn lead to 11 going into the half.
Auburn maintained the lead for the rest of the game. The Tigers finished the day shooting just over 50 percent compared to Georgia’s abysmal 38 percent.
What’s next for Georgia? Georgia returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 15 against Tennessee at Stegeman Coliseum with tip-off set for 7 p.m. and ESPNU providing television coverage before hitting the road to take on Mississippi State on Saturday, Jan. 18.