The Georgia Bulldogs dominated the North Carolina Central Eagles tonight in Stegeman Coliseum as they won 95-59. This was the Bulldogs’ first game back at home after returning from Maui last week.
Freshman Anthony Edwards posted another impressive performance as he finished with 21 points, two rebounds, and four assists. Rayshaun Hammonds had himself a game with 19 points, and nine rebounds, but only adding one assist. Tyree Crump shot just under 50% from three as he finished with 16 points, and Christian Brown was the fourth Bulldogs’ player in double digits with 11 points and eight rebounds.
With Amanze Ngumezi out for an “indefinite period of time” Georgia really seemed to step up their play down low, as they out-rebounded the Eagles 54-25. Hammonds’ nine rebounds led the way, but Donnell Gresham followed with eight.
Here are some observations from the game:
Getting off to a hot start in the first half
On Monday, Anthony Edwards talked about getting off to a faster start to the game. He scored the first basket of the game with a 3-pointer just 39 seconds into the contest. In the first seven minutes, Rayshaun Hammonds and Edwards had all 14 points as they each had seven apiece.
During the first ten minutes, Georgia went on a 13-0 run that lasted about four minutes before the Eagles finally answered with a 3-pointer. Freshman Toumani Camara and Christian Brown added baskets on that run.
Georgia continued to dominate as the first half went on, and Edwards was a huge part of that. He finished the first half with 19 points, followed by Hammonds with 10. Crump had an impressive first half as he was three-of-five from beyond the arc, as those were his only baskets of the half.
To end the first half, Georgia led 50-35. The Bulldogs were shooting an impressive 52.8 percent from the field as they were 19-of-36 in the first half. The Bulldogs were also shooting 50% from three-point range.
Less turnovers, and more assists
In the first five minutes, Georgia had five turnovers, which is something that hurt them tremendously last week in Maui against Dayton. Against the Flyers, Georgia had 15 total turnovers in the first half. To end the first half against the Eagles, Georgia had 10.
The turnovers are something that seems to consistently hurt the Bulldogs, and it’s got to stop, but it’s something that didn’t really help the opponent tonight because the Eagles couldn’t capitalize. The team ended up with 16 total at the end of the night. Even though 16 turnovers is a lot, you have to remember that they gave up five in the first five minutes. As the game went on, the sloppiness stopped, and the team seemed to be more conservative with the ball.
As a team, Georgia had 19 assists in the win. The phrase “sharing is caring” faired well for the Bulldogs tonight as Sahvir Wheeler led with the team with six assists. Georgia had 11 assists in the first half as Wheeler had four, and Crump had three.
In the trip to Maui, Georgia had only 31 assists total in three games. They had their season-low of eight against Dayton. Georgia had its season-high of 30 assists against Delaware State on Nov. 15. It seems like against weaker opponents Georgia seems to share the ball more, and play more loosely. Wheeler is the leader in assists this season, and even though it’s very early in his Bulldogs’ career, he is showing flashes resembling Georgia’s all-time assists leader Rashad Wright. Wheeler is very far off from Wright’s record, but he is the same type of player, and the guard Georgia needed to step up this season.
Offensive efficiency and bench scoring
Georgia’s offense was impressive tonight coming off a stretch of bad shooting performances in Maui. In the end, Georgia was 37-of-50 tonight from the floor and shot 53%. The Bulldogs made nine 3-pointers tonight and shot 75% from the foul line. Tyree Crump was Georgia’s best long-range shooter tonight, but Anthony Edwards consistently stayed hot as well. Freshman Mike Peake had a decent game as he finished with seven points, and four rebounds in just nine minutes of playing time.
UGA opened the season with three 90-plus point scoring outings, which is the first time the Bulldogs have scored 90 or more in three consecutive games since Dec. of 2006. Tonight the Bulldogs added another 90 plus performance. Obviously the play from the trio of Edwards, Hammonds, and Crump has been incredible, but more guys are starting to get into the mix. Sahvir Wheeler usually contributes some points, but tonight he only scored four. Toumani Camara finished with six points. Georgia ended up with 31 points off the bench tonight.