Wheeler Leaves His Mark in Double Overtime Victory vs SMU
Cover Photo: @UGABasketball
By. Andrew Rodberg (twitter.com/AndrewRod2019) (instagram: 404thebeat)
ATHENS, GA—Following a disappointing loss to Arizona State, the Dawgs returned back to Athens to face SMU. SMU known for a stout defense has worked themselves to a 8-1 season record and came into Athens looking for a big time win vs a SEC opponent.
As the game got underway, it was evident that this was going to be a back and forth game as neither offense could build a big lead (SMU 6 points and UGA 4 points) the Georgia defense was the main focal point in the first half. Starting with the defense, the Dawgs were able to smoother SMU when in zone defense and struggled with defensive rebounds, blocking out and stopping inside the paint points when playing man to man. Now 9 games into the season, it is hard to understand how Coach Crean hasn’t figured out that man to man isn’t very effective. Offensively no one was really able to get anything going as they settled with the deep ball instead of attacking the rim. In doing so, Rayshaun Hammonds led the team with both 6 points and 5 rebounds. By playing man to man the Dawgs were able to cut into the half and make it a 3 point game at 28-25 with SMU leading.
Key Contributors at Half:
Rayshaun Hammonds: 6 pts, 5 rebounds
Christian Brown: 5 pts
Jordan Harris: 4 pts
In the second half, the shots began to go down as the Dawgs remained aggressive behind Tyree Crump’s three pointers. With that being said, the Dawgs were able to find creases in the SMU defense that resulted in some easy layups and dunks at the rim. With the inside game starting to progress for the Dawgs they were able to spread out SMU and take the lead multiple times throughout the second half. With the game coming down to the wire, the Dawgs were able to cut into the late SMU lead and tie the game to 68-68 and force overtime. In overtime, the play from freshman, Sahvir Wheeler, came up huge as he not only was able to score in key points of the game but really distributed the ball to his teammates that allowed UGA to put pressure on SMU down the stretch. With just under 30 seconds and UGA down 77-72 in the first overtime, Wheeler found Crump for a three and then followed it up with a layup that forced a second overtime at 77-77. More of the same came from Wheeler in the second OT as he was able to rack up multiple assists and ultimately put this game away with a game winning layup in the final 16 seconds. In doing so, he joined Anthony Edwards as the second freshman to close out a game with a go ahead score this year.
Sahvir Wheeler: 9 pts (game winner) 8 assists
Rayshaun Hammonds: 21 pts, 10 rebounds
Anthony Edwards: 16 pts, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Tyree Crump: 12 points, 2 rebounds
The Dawgs will now remain at home and face the Georgia Southern Eagles at 7:00pm on 12/23.
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