Hoop Dawgs Holdoff Upset-Minded USC Upstate to Move to 2-0
By: Joshua Grosh
Dawgs took to the hardwood for the second game of the year against USC Upstate and it was a lot closer than the Dawgs would have liked. UGA beat USC Upstate 74-65 after a late surge by UGA to seal the win. In fact, with 13:02 left in the game, USC Upstate lead the game and wouldn’t relinquish it for nearly 3 straight minutes when star player Yante Maten took it in for a tip shot to put UGA up 53-52. Then, USC Upstate retook the lead with a basket by Mike Cunningham less than a minute afterwards. Then, at 6:21, Rayshaun Hammonds scored a jumper to signal a 21-to-7-point run by Georgia to close out the game and secure the win. During the end stretch, Hammonds and Maten proved to be vital to sealing the win for Georgia. They played off of each other well and, if this chemistry continues, UGA will have a possibility of two consistent scoring threats for the season – with the loss of JJ Fraizer from last year in mind.
Scoring list (UGA):
- Maten: 22 points, 7-16 and 9-9 on free throws.
- Willridge: 5 points, 2-10 and 1-2 on free throws.
- Ogbeide: 7 points, 3-4 and 1-2 on free throws.
- Hammonds: 13 points, 7-12.
- Jackson II: 13 points, 6-13 and 3-4 on free throws.
The bench combined: 14 points total.
Mike Edwards has given up 4 personal fouls despite coming off the bench. With being so heavily relied on to be a better interior defender, Edwards needs to clean up his play or it could spell trouble for UGA in the future.
USC Upstate had four scorers break 10 points – one from the bench and three starters. UGA surrender a total of 10 3-pointers out of 36 attempts. USC Upstate seemed focus on trying to exploit the 3-point line which has been UGA’s weakness the past few seasons – ultimately its undoing in the NIT game against Belmont who rained fire from the 3-point line with 14 total 3-pointers at 45% accuracy. This is a vulnerability to watch as the season goes on – can UGA finally defend outside the arc while still protecting the paint?
Keep tabs on Ogbeide. He may not be the big scorer on the stat sheet but his ability to make space for teammates and help on the inside will be invaluable moving forward. His development is keep for UGA to make the NCAA tournament in my opinion.
UGA takes on Texas AMCC on Sunday November, 19th at 1:00 P.M. at Stegeman Coliseum with a chance to move UGA up to 3-0 on the season.