Georgia men’s basketball returned to the court Monday night coming off a holiday break to beat the Austin Peay Governors, 78-48.
Georgia jumped out to a quick 16-4 lead in the first six minutes and shot well from the field. It was Toumani Camara and Rayshaun Hammonds that started out fast for the Bulldogs. Camara scored six straight points on three straight trips down the floor. Those two had some help going down the stretch as Jordan Harris added six points, Tyree Crump added five, and Sahvir Wheeler had four.
Georgia’s quick offensive attack was slowed down towards the end of the first half as Austin Peay turned up the defensive pressure when they started running zone.
Georgia has struggled at times this season when teams have gone from man to zone. Head coach Tom Crean made it evident in his press conference last week that something isn’t transitioning from practice to games when the offense practices against it.
“I think we are playing against the zone better in games, but it’s just when they switch it up on us real fast is when we have trouble with it,” said Donnell Gresham.
The Governors ended the half outscoring the Bulldogs 11-3 in the final 6:32 of play. Georgia shot 48.3% from the field, and Austin Peay shot 40%, including being 1-of-10 from beyond the arc.
“I don’t like the lulls like we had to end the first half,” said Crean. “We’ve got to do better, and we can’t relax when we get a big lead. This is a young team, and I expect them to learn from that. And they did to start to second half.”
To start out the half, Georgia went on a 19-2 run that had several Bulldogs scoring. Hammonds piled onto his points total with a dunk and three-pointer. Wheeler nailed a three in between those two baskets, and the next trip down the floor Edwards completed a three-point play.
Donnell Gresham got into a rhythm as he nailed three three-pointers in the first nine minutes of the second half. Austin Peay’s offensive woes continued, and they didn’t seem to have an answer for Georgia’s offensive attack. Georgia led by as many as 30 in the second half, which happened to be their largest lead of the game.
The Governors’ Terry Taylor had a big impact on his team as he had 10 points in the first half, and finished with 18. They finished shooting 26.6% as a team (17 of 64), and Georgia finished 55.4% (31 of 56) from the field.
Hammonds led the Bulldogs with 17 points, 6 rebounds and one assist followed by Greshman with 11 points, and one rebound. Edwards was third in scoring with a quite nine.
“It’s going to be interesting going into SEC play with ten new guys,” said Hammonds. “Of course, I think we can achieve, but we have to be able to keep our heads level and keep fighting.”
Georgia takes on the No. 9 Memphis Tigers at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 4.