Update: Final- UGA 64, SLU 56: The Billikens have a little fight left in them. Kwamain Mitchell puts in another three to draw St. Louis within seven, 63-56.
Jeremy Price gets fouled with about 15 seconds left, and hits one of two free throws, making it 64-56.
At this point, I’m sure you can guess how this one finishes. The Billikens come storming down the court, but for some reason run a set play that takes a solid 10 seconds to execute. They throw up a baseline jumper, but it doesn’t fall. Georgia gets the rebound and the victory.
Five Georgia players were in double figures tonight. Dustin Ware led the team with 17 points. Jeremy Price added 14. Kwamain Mitchell led the Billikens with 16. Willie Reed was close behind with 14.
Update: 1:19 2nd- UGA 59, SLU 50: Willie Reed throws down an alley-oop after a controversial turnover from Ricky McPhee, making it a 10 point game.
Dustin Ware responds with a drive for two, but Reed answers again in the low post. A shot clock violation for the Bulldogs leads to a three for Kwamain Mitchell. A steal and layup off the ensuing Georgia possession from Mitchell makes it only a five point deficit for the Billikens.
Trey Thompkins stops the bleeding with a runner in the lane, putting the Georgia lead back up to seven. Jeremy Prince hits after a missed shot from St. Louis to make it 59-50.
Update: 7:56 in the 2nd- UGA 51, SLU 39: The shots finally start to fall for St. Louis, but the Trey Thompkins squashes another one of their mini-runs with a steal and two-handed throwdown in transition.
Travis Leslie airballs a free throw. Ugh.
Then, the game briefly turns into a three-point shootout. Kyle Cassity hits one to bring St. Louis within 12. Dustin Ware responds with a three for Georgia, bringing the lead back up to 15.
But Cassity drains another and keeps the Bulldog lead at 12.
Update: 13:08 in the 2nd- UGA 45, SLU 26: Brian Conklin goes to the foul line and makes it 40-22 Georgia. The only reason I mention this is because Conklin looks kind of like a clean-cut Chris “Birdman” Andersen, and this pleases me.
Just as the Billikens build some momentum with a 6-0 run, Georgia slows the tempo on offense, and Dustin Ware nails a three pointer on a designed play.
St. Louis turns the ball over, and Jeremy Price hits a layup in transition, effectively killing any momentum the Billikens may have had.
Update: 16:53 in the 2nd- UGA 40, SLU 20: Trey Thompkins starts off the half with a nice spin move for two down low, putting the Bulldogs up by 15. Travis Leslie adds two free throws, widening the margin.
Down the court, Leslie fouls Willie Reed, who doesn’t miss his free throws.
But a Thompkins kiss off the glass and a pump-fake three from Ricky McPhee put Georgia up 40-20 and force a timeout from Majerus.
Pretty obvious that this is not how Saint Louis needed to start off this half.
Update: Halftime- UGA 31, SLU 18: The half ends with two big plays for both sides. The Billikens throw in a three with just under a minute left to narrow the gap to 28-18.
But Jeremy Price responds, going up and under the rim and Willie Reed for a three point play. The half ends on a pretty embarrassing final possession for Saint Louis.
Jeremy Price leads all scorers at the half with nine points. Ricky McPhee has seven, four of them coming from the free throw line.
For the Billikens, Femi John is tied with Price at nine points.
Some more stats at the half: Georgia has 10 points in the paint, 11 points off turnovers, and seven second-chance points. The Billikens match up with six points in the paint and four points off turnovers, but have zero second-chance points.
Update: 3:38 in the 1st- UGA 25, SLU 11: Ricky McPhee hits two free throws to make it 21-7 Bulldogs. The Billikens proceed to turn the ball over (again) in the paint, then dribble out of bounds on their next possession.
McPhee drives the lane again and gets tangled up. He makes two free throws to put Georgia up 25-7.
On the other side of the court, Trey Thompkins stones a Willie Reed dunk attempt from the baseline, but gets called for the foul. The crowd responds quite unfavorably to the call. Reed adds two for the Billikens, making it 25-9. He puts in two more free throws next time down the court.
Update: 7:27 in the 1st- UGA 19, SLU 7: Trey Thompkins hits a turnaround jumper close to the rim to make it 17-5 Bulldogs.
St. Louis finally wakes up on offense, connecting on a few jump shots. But the low post defense for Georgia continues to dominate. The Bulldogs have a slim rebounding edge, but it feels huge the way the are playing down low.
A Jeremy Price dunk ignites the decent-sized crowd and makes it 19-7 Georgia.
Update: 11:18 in the 1st- UGA 13, SLU 3: Ricky McPhee cans a three to put the Bulldogs up double digits, 13-3. The scores stays there for a while.
Georgia is playing aggressively on defense, bringing the full court press and forcing turnovers. They are also dominating the post defensively. Pretty much everything St. Louis has put up inside the paint has been denied.
The Billikens can’t seem to make an open shot. They had a few looks at baseline jumpers and three-pointers, but can’t connect. Rick Majerus’s hands are glued to his hips. He seems to be perpetually anguished.
Update: 16:33 in the 1st- UGA 8, SLU 0: The Bulldogs immediately get off to a hot start. Travis Leslie takes a nice pass down the baseline and tries to finish with a dunk, but gets hacked. He sinks two free throws. Trey Thompkins hits a baby hook in the lane to make it 6-0 Georgia and force a Billikin timeout.
The timeout is pretty ineffective for Saint Louis. They turn the ball over twice. Dustin Ware capitalizes off one turnover with a baseline jumper, and it’s 8-0.
Pre-Game: Hey guys. This is the official WUOG Georgia vs. Saint Louis live blog. I’m Jason Lind. No doubt you remember me from my stellar, award-winning coverage of the Georgia-South Carolina football game a couple of months back. For those of you who don’t know how this works, I’ll be bringing the updates five times per half.
Tonight’s game will see Mark Fox and company up against the Saint Louis Billikens. If anyone knows what a Billiken is, please inform me. The obvious draw of tonight’s game is the arrival of Rick Majerus to Stegeman Coliseum. A former ESPN analyst and coach of a final four team, Majerus brings in a 4-2 team coming off a loss to Notre Dame. The Bulldogs are 3-2 after a 67-64 victory over Jacksonville State.
The (probable) starting lineups, courtesy of georgiadogs.com:
Corrections: Albert Jackson will start at center in place of Chris Barnes for the Bulldogs. Femi John will start at guard in place of Kyle Cassity for the Billikens.