Georgia Basketball Game Notes
Georgia (15-11, 6-8) vs. South Carolina (14-13, 5-9)
Wednesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Colonial Life Arena (18,000) in Columbia, S.C.
Watch: SEC Network (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Jon Sunvold, analyst)
Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Tony Schiavone, producer); Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta
The Starting 5…
• UGA has a combined nine “Q1” and “Q2” wins in the new NCAA RPI rating matrix.
• Five Bulldogs scored in double digits in UGA’s victories over Florida & Tennessee.
• Yante Maten is the only player in the SEC’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, FG pct. & FT pct.
• Juwan Parker, the only DI MBB player with a master’s, is now 3rd on UGA’s career FT pct. leaders list.
• Nicolas Claxton started at Vandy, becoming the 9th current Bulldog to start as a freshman.
Georgia Travels To Columbia For Rematch With Gamecocks
The Georgia Bulldogs will make the three-hour trek from Athens to Columbia, S.C., to face South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday evening. The Bulldogs are looking to continue to build upon momentum gained with victories at Florida and over No. 18 Tennessee last week.
The streak began with an improbable comeback in Gainesville last Wednesday, when Georgia rallied from six down with 16 seconds remaining and eventually won in overtime, 72-69. On Saturday, the Bulldogs led for 31:53 against the Volunteers en route to a 73-62 decision.
Georgia was solid on both ends of the floor in both games.
Five Bulldogs scored in double figures in each outing, led by Yante Maten’s tallies of 23 and 19 against UF and UT, respectively. Georgia held the Gators and Vols to a combined .373 (44-of-118) shooting from the field.
The Bulldogs’ two-game winning strek has upped their records to 15-11 overall and 6-8 in SEC play.
Yante Maten, a top-10 candidate for both the Senior CLASS and Karl Malone Awards, leads the SEC in scoring by almost a full point per game at 19.5 ppg (Arkansas’ Jaylen Barford is second at 18.6 ppg). Maten is the only player ranked among the SEC’s top-10 in scoring, rebounding (No. 3), field goal percentage (No. 7) and free throw percentage (No. 5)…and also is No. 2 in minutes played.
Maten has been a picture of consistency for the Bulldogs.
In 26 games this season, he has 25 double-figure outings, with 14 20-point performances and 10 double-doubles.
Over 89 games since the start of his sophomore year, Maten has 81 double-digit scoring performances, with 36 20-point and five 30-point outings, and 25 double-doubles.
“Turtle” Jackson and Juwan Parker are the Bulldogs’ second- and third-leading scorers, separated by a single bucket. Jackson is averaging 8.9 ppg and has 13 double-figure games to date. Parker is scoring at a 8.8 ppg clip overall. He is averaging 9.8 ppg in SEC action, a considerable jump from the 7.4 ppg he averaged prior to league play.
South Carolina is coming off an 84-75 upset of No. 10 Auburn. The Gamecocks are currently 14-13 overall and 5-9 in the SEC.
Chris Silva leads South Carolina with averages of 14.2 ppg and 7.7 rpg, while Frank Booker adds 11.9 ppg.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game Among UGA’s Career Leaders
Yante Maten is…
• 20 points from No. 3 Vern Fleming
• 31 points from No. 2 Alec Kessler
• 354 points from No. 1 Litterial Green
• 9 rebounds from No. 6 Lavon Mercer
• 11 rebounds from No. 5 Charles Claxton
• 50 FGs from No. 5 Bob Leinhard
• 107 FGAs from No. 4 Dominque Wilkins
• 68 FTs from No. 3 Litterial Green
• 88 FTAs from No. 3 Alec Kessler
• 65 blocks from No. 2 Charles Claxton
Derek Ogbeide is…
• 22 rebounds from No. 20 Nemanja Djurisic
• 24 rebounds from No. 19 Jumaine Jones
• 28 rebounds from No. 18 Shandon Anderson
• 29 rebounds from No. 17 Dominique Wilkins
Series History With S.C.
Georgia sports a 58-53 lead in the all-time series with South Carolina; however, the Gamecocks own 33-19 edge in Columbia.
Last month in Athens, South Carolina gained an early lead and held off continuous Georgia rallies en route to a 64-57 win.
The Gamecocks jumped out to a 9-2 lead less than three minutes in and made that margin stand up.
South Carolina led by eight at halftime before the Bulldogs opened the second period with a 10-2 run to knot the score at 39-39.
Georgia tied the game again at 49-49 with 3:37 left before a Frank Booker 3-point ignited a decisive 10-1 surge.
The Bulldogs last visited Columbia on Feb. 4 last season, with No. 19 South Carolina holding off a furious Georgia rally in the closing moments to secure a 77-75 win.
The Gamecocks led by nine with 2:21 left before the Bulldogs reeled their deficit back in. A Turtle Jackson free throw cut it to 73-69 with 26 seconds left, but South Carolina converted free throws to secure the win.
Last Time out
Yante Maten’s game-high 19 points led five Bulldogs in double digits as Georgia upset No. 18 Tennessee, 73-62, last Saturday evening in Athens.
Maten started hot, scoring 11 points in the opening 10:59 of the game. That staked Georgia to a 13-8 lead it never reliquished the rest of the way.
The margin grew to 21-12 before Tennessee closed the gap to two points at halftime.
The Bulldogs quickly regained control quickly after the intermission, pushing the lead to 38-28 less than three minutes into the second stanza.
The Vols made is a one-possession game twice thereafter, but Georgia answered each time. After Tennessee pulled within 54-51 at the 5:14 mark, Tyree Crump nailed a 3-pointer to open a 9-3 run that made it 63-54 with 94 seconds remaining.
Bulldogs’ ‘D’ Reappears
For much of the season, Georgia has been one of the nation’s best defensive teams.
Entering their Feb. 3 game at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs led the SEC and ranked No. 6 nationally in field goal percentage defense at .386. UGA was holding league opponents to an even more impressive .373. At that point, only three teams had shot 50.0 percent or better against Georgia in 21 games.
Over the next three outings, State, Vanderbilt and Auburn all shot better than 50 percent….a combined 83-of-159 (.522) from the field.
The Bulldogs’ defense was much more solid last week in victories over Florida in Gainesville and No. 18 Tennessee in Athens.
Georgia held the Gators to .379 field goal shooting and then kept the Volunteers to a .349 clip. After slipping to No. 19 nationally in FG defense, the last two outings have lifted the Bulldogs back to No. 11 in Monday’s edition of NCAA statistics at .399.
Georgia Sports “Q”uality Wins
Georgia, which was No. 66 in Monday’s edition of the NCAA rpi, has secured more quality victories than most of the teams ahead of the Bulldogs on that ledger.
Georgia owns five “Q1” and four “Q2” victories. The Bulldogs’ nine victories in the NCAA’s new matrix are more than 43 teams ahead of Georgia in the RPI.
Bulldogs Balanced In Ws
Five Bulldogs reached double figures in the scoring column during Georgia’s wins over Florida and No. 18 Tennessee last week.
Yante Maten scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Florida. Derek Ogbeide also notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Tyree Crump chipped in 13 points to go along with career-high tallies of five rebounds and five assists. Rayshaun Hammonds and Juwan Parker rounded out the double-digit scoring performances with 10 points apiece.
Versus Tennessee, Maten led the Bulldogs with 19 points, the 22nd time he’s paced Georgia offensively this season. Ogbeide produced his second-straight double-double with a season-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. Crump added 11 points, and Turtle Jackson and Juwan Parker chipped in 10 points each.
Those contests marked the second and third outings this season where five Bulldogs notched double-figure scoring outputs. Georgia also accomplished that feat in an 87-82 win over Winthrop during December.
Dogs Drawing At Home
Last Saturday’s win over No. 18 Tennessee provided the Bulldogs with their fourth – of what will become at five – Saturday sellouts during the 2017-18 season. This Saturday’s game with LSU also is sold out.
The Bulldogs have averaged 8,252 fans over 13 home games to date, the highest since Georgia averaged 8,619 during the 2003-04 campaign.
Georgia is well on its way to topping 8,000 fans per game for the sixth time in the 2000s. Previously, the Bulldogs averaged a school-record 9,857 in 2002-03; 9,064 in 2001-02; the aforementione