The Georgia men’s basketball team defeated the Delaware State Hornets, 100-64, to win their third game of the season at Stegeman Coliseum Friday night. This was the second time under head coach Tom Crean that the Bulldogs hit the century mark. The first time was in his inaugural game as head coach at Georgia when the Bulldogs won 110-76 over Savannah State.
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia (3-0) with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists. Amanze Ngumezi followed in scoring with 16 points in just 19 minutes playing time. Freshman standout Anthony Edwards had a season-low six points as he was only three of seven from the field. Tyree Crump was the third Bulldog in double-digits as he finished 10 points.
“Rayshaun had a great game, and I had a feeling he was about to go off from the way he practiced this week,” said Ngumezi at the postgame conference. “The way he played tonight really opened up the floor, and helped guys like me get open for shots.”
Hammonds seemed very humble after the game and commented on how much his game has elevated over the course of the week.
“Coach Crean pushed me real hard in practice this week, and I think that really helped my performance tonight,” said Hammonds. “I really think the difference was him pushing me, and my teammates were there for me. We’re getting more comfortable with each other in the game. My teammates challenge me and I challenge them.”
In the first half, Hammonds has 11 of Georgia’s first 18 points. Hammonds finished the first half with 17 points, followed by Tyree Crump with six points on a pair of three-pointers. Georgia shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and out-rebounded the Hornets 23 to 11, with Hammonds nabbing seven of them. Freshman Mike Peake saw his first few minutes on the floor as he subbed in towards the end of the first half. Peake finished with the half with four points as he hit two free throws and made a layup off an offensive rebound he grabbed.
Georgia started strong in the second half as Donnell Gresham drove inside the paint and made a layup for the first points of the half. They then went on a 6-0 run with baskets from Hammonds, Ngumezi, and Gresham. Going down the stretch a number of Georgia players got on the board. Ngumezi hit several layups, and then Crump and freshman Sahvir Wheeler added baskets.
With 7:14 left to go in the game, Ngumezi had a three-point play, and Hammonds threw down a nasty dunk about a minute later. With just under four minutes to go, Georgia had the Hornets under control as they lead by 30. Crean subbed out Hammonds, Ngumezi, and Edwards, and subbed in freshman Jaykwon Walton, Jaxon Etter, and Stan Turner.
“Games like this are very fun because it’s sort of like practice; we practice to runt the floor,” Ngumezi said. “We got a lot of fast-break buckets tonight and everyone just felt comfortable. Everyone got the shots that we wanted; it was a great game because e had fun.”
Crean was thoroughly impressed with his teams’ performance but noted that the “meat and potatoes” part of their schedule is coming up.
“We did a lot of things right tonight, but there are still a lot of things that need to be worked on as we head into Georgia Tech next Wednesday,” Crean said. “I really liked how we played good in transition, and the defense picked up tonight. (Athletic Director) Greg McGarity told me after the game that we had 30 assists tonight, and I had to get him to repeat that to me three times when I heard it. I don’t think I have ever coached a team that had that many assists in a game.”
Georgia returns to action Wednesday against rival Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. ET in Stegeman Coliseum for game number four of the season.