From the tip, the game was entirely in UGA’s favor. Although the Dawgs had some early turnovers, they were able to get back and cover on defense, forcing one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country to start 0/4 from three. With an electrifying three from Jabri Abdur-Rahim, the momentum was all UGA.
The rest of the half continued to be all UGA. The dawgs came out of the first break on an 8-0 run extending the lead to 17-2. Alabama kept turning the ball over and were unable to find an identity on offense.
Towards the end of the half Alabama began to gain some traction on the offensive side of the floor, but were unable to stop the Dawgs. UGA went 7/13 from three in the first half, making it seem like they scored every time they touched the ball. Alabama was finally able to hit two threes towards the end of the half, but finished the half 2/11 from three.
Starting in the second half both teams were trading blows, but Bama was never able to cut UGA’s early lead to under 10 points. The chance for a Bama comeback seemed near impossible, especially after a tenacious poster dunk from RJ Melendez. The Dawgs were ready to beat their first ranked opponent of the season.
However, just like that, Bama started to climb back one possession at a time. Rylan Griffin hit a crucial and-one, followed by a steal and fast break layup by Latrell Wrightsell Jr. Mark Sears then hit two back-to-back threes completely shifting the momentum. UGA tried to hang on with an and-one play from Justin Hill, but it was Grant Nelson’s back-to-back threes in the final minute that put the Dawgs away.
Mark Sears and Grant Nelson combined for 43 points for the Tide, while Noah Thomasson and RJ Melendez led the Dawgs with 15 points each.
After the game, Coach Mike White was asked if the team’s spirits were diminished after another comeback loss. He stated, “These guys will keep fighting,” and seemed to have high hopes for the team as they head into the next game this Saturday.
This weekend, the South Carolina Gamecocks come to Athens, a team that is very hot at the moment. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.