Georgia Basketball suffered its first loss at home this season to a physical South Carolina team. The Gamecocks defeated Georgia 64-57 despite making fewer baskets and shooting just 27 percent. Mark Fox’s Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize on South Carolina’s foul trouble and ultimately lost the game from the free throw line.
Yante Maten led the Bulldogs with 25 points shooting 8-14 from the floor and 8-10 from the free throw line. He stole the ball twice and blocked four shots and brought down eight rebounds. Maten’s double-digit game marked his 15th and eightH 20-point games of the season. Juwan Parker followed Maten with 11 points. Derek Ogbeide led the team in rebounds with 10 and had three blocks. Turtle Jackson scored nine points but coughed up the ball five times.
Even though Georgia held South Carolina to 27-percent shooting, the Gamecocks succeeded from the free throw line shooting 74 percent. South Carolina made eight more free throws than Georgia. In the second half alone the Gamecocks made 12-18 from the line compared to Georgia’s 10-19. The Bulldogs could draw the fouls, but couldn’t capitalize on them.
Another thing Georgia struggled with was turnovers. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 14 times compared to South Carolina’s seven scoring nine points off them.
Obviously we didn’t play well enough to win we just got beat up on the backboards in the first half and we got ourselves in position to win the game and our free throw shooting in the second half was really really subpar,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. “Against quality teams, you can’t have those kinds of errors. I was really disappointed in our free throw shooting in the first half but South Carolina is a really good defensive team. We anticipated it would be a slugfest and when you have a game like that you have to rebound and make free throws and we didn’t do that.”
South Carolina’s physical defense edged Georgia and prevented just the right amount of shots from going in. The Bulldogs held its own throughout the entire game, tying the game twice in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough. Carolina out-manned, out-rebounded and wanted it more than Georgia. With such a strong start to the season, the Bulldogs struggle to finish a complete game the last few weeks. Hopefully, this trend changes and Georgia finds the connection it had at the beginning of the season.
Georgia improves to 11-5 on the season and head to Baton Rouge, Louisana to face LSU on Tuesday, January 16 at 7:00 p.m.
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