Upset Win: Dawgs beat #18 Vols
Photo: Austin Steele
By: Joshua Grosh
So, here we are, mid-way through February and Georgia is starting to string together a couple of strong wins. If you have followed the program as of late, the Dawgs have been pretty under fire due to a lackluster season at points this year. To the defense of the critics, Georgia did not do much to help their case – losing to sub-500 teams, giving up major leads, and more. Yet, Georgia found life again – first on the road to arch-rival Florida Gators, and now at home against the Volunteers of Tennessee. Georgia beating Florida in a season sweep was a small step forward for starting a possible post season discussion. Beating Tennessee, however, was a major resume builder for a chance to get back into the big dance discussion. With this win, Georgia has two wins over current top-25 teams as well as a stronger in conference record during a very strong season for the SEC. Granted, Georgia does have some complete head-scratching losses on its record – but if it can piece together enough wins, the big dance is still there. Georgia still has a shot – even though Georgia seemed all but left for dead going into the Florida game.
As for the game itself, Georgia won because Georgia made Tennessee uncomfortable. Georgia kept it a low scoring affair by choking with their defense and doing just enough to keep its offense alive. Yante Maten helped to keep Georgia up at the outset of the game but then the rest of the team stepped up to help. Derek Ogbeide became a force to be reckoned with in the paint while Crump, Jackson, and Parker come up strong scoring wise. Overall, Georgia had 5 players get 10 points or more this game. This key state must continue if Georgia is to make a run at the dance because if more consistent threats can develop outside of Maten, Georgia’s offense will be far more effective over all. Georgia rarely ever trailed in this game (only twice during the first half), and never trailed in the second half. Georgia didn’t have to play deep in a hole and that allows this team to stay in its comfort zone running a strong defense and slow offense. Yet, as Georgia meets more difficult teams, Georgia cannot simply rely just on defense alone. They need another consistent threat to develop – and that is the point to watch in the coming games.
Georgia Players of the Game:
- Maten: 19 points, 5-14 FG, 1-2 3 PT, 5 rebounds, 1 block.
- Ogbeide: 16 points, 6-7 FG, 11 rebounds.
- Crump: 11 points, 2-5 FG, 2-4 3 PT, 2 rebounds, 2 AST.
- Jackson: 10 points, 3-7 FG, 2-6 3 PT, 2 steals, 4 AST.
- Parker: 10 points, 2-5 FG, 1-1 3 PT, 7 rebounds, 2 steals.
The next game for Georgia will be on the road to play South Carolina on Wednesday, February 21st at 6:30 P.M. South Carolina just upset a very good Auburn team in Columbia but was on a 6-game losing streak entering todays game against Auburn. Georgia must win this match up because loss to a 14-13 South Carolina team could derail any post season hopes outside of winning the SEC championship.