Welcome to Stegeman Coliseum as the Dawgs take on the Colorado Buffaloes. Georgia’s coming off an eyebrow-raising 2-point win vs. Mississippi Valley State in which a Jeremy Price explosion in the final few minutes saved Georgia a loss that would have been like losing to Kennesaw State. Colorado comes in a much better opponent than MSV with one of the best guard tandems in the country starring senior Corey Higgins and sophomore Alec Burks. The two combined to average 36 points per game, good for the third-best duo in the NCAA. Higgins was also named to the All Big-12 preseason team. Georgia will again be without Trey Thompkins who return date is still uncertain but Coach Fox hoped he may return for the Old Spice Classic during Thanksgiving break.
We’ve got a 7pm tip here in Athens and I’ll be keeping you posted on the action.
Here are tonight’s starters:
Gerald Robinson Jr
The Dawgs win the tip and we’re off in Athens. The crowd’s a lot louder than this time a year ago. Price with the 3-point play. Boomtown.
Great sequence from Georgia after giving up a couple of easy baskets. Leslie with a three, Nolte with a three and Price with the Powerslam in the paint from a perfect alley-oop pass from Gerald Robinson. Dawgs up 11-4.
Off the timeout, Robinson grabs a rebound and hits Colorado with a little sauce takin’ it straight to the rim freezing a couple of defenders on his way. He follows that up with a 3 giving the Dawgs a 16-4 lead. He did, however, pick up his second foul. Sharrard Brantely enters.
Coach Fox emphasized that he wanted an improvement on the defensive side of the ball this year. The Dawgs are certainly accomplishing that thus far, leading 22-8 and grabbing 8 boards.
You know the drill, Price gets open down low and goes with the Powerslam in the paint. When he plays within himself and does what he does best, as opposed to trying to be a shooter, he can be one of the most effective players on the team.
Everything just looks faster for Georgia. Passing, moving on defense. And this is all being done with out Trey (obviously) and Gerald Robinson, who has sat for the last 10 minutes with foul trouble. Georgia is now up 31-16 limiting Colorado to 5-18 shooting with 6 minutes left in the first half. The Dawgs also have 15 boards, 8 assists and just 5 turnovers. The lone negative is the fouls, as Georgia already has 10 now with 5 minutes left in the first.
Jeremy Price picks up an offensive foul giving 3/5 starters 2 fouls along with Donte Williams. Nolte and Leslie are the only starters safe from the bench and Colorado has slowly but surely chipped away at the lead by knocking down foul shots. The slow pace of the game does not suit the Dawgs.
Barnes picks up his second but Fox is forced to leave him in the game with 4 minutes left because everyone else also has 2 fouls.
Travis Leslie was close to giving us our first Thunderdunk of the season on a breakaway. Everything went as planned, he rose, he flew, he went to throw down…and destroyed the back of the rim sending the ball way back over halfcourt. Really, that perfectly describes the tale of this Georgia first half. It started off so well and now they’ve blown a 20 point lead as Colorado pick up two quick baskets and have narrowed the lead to just 2.
Georgia hit a free throw but Colorado answer with a 3 to tie the game at half. Georgia crowd sits down a bit stunned. But the second half does mean that those in foul trouble are no longer in foul trouble. Yet.
Jeremy Price is back to doing Big Dawg things. He’s been a menace in the paint, moving well, getting open on transition. Unfortunately, you know the bad news that has come along with any positive play so far: he picks up his third foul. Georgia’s up 45-42 and looking much better than the end of the first half but a rejuvenated Colorado is now playing with much more confidence.
Though Georgia has picked up a lot of fouls, the refs have been calling some very ticky-tacky fouls. There hasn’t been a whole lot else to report unfortunately. The fouls have continued to be a part of the game which has sucked the life out of the game and the crowd. It’s 48-45 Georgia with 13 left.
Leslie finally gets the breakaway Thunderdunk we’ve been waiting for. Leslie opts for two hands this time and throws it down. Poor rim. 52-46 Dawgs.
Play starting to pick back up again as the fouls have dissipated a bit. A great look from Nolte finds Leslie open under the basket (last time that may happen all season) but Colorado answer with a full court pass for an easy two. It’s 59-57 Georgia with 8 left.
Chris Barnes isn’t having his best night. Offensively, he’s turned into a stiffer Albert Jackson. Still grabbing boards, but a liability offensively at this point.
After surrendering the lead with some very sloppy defense, Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware fire down a couple of threes to reignite the crowd and go up by 3. Nolte takes a charge and Stegeman finally has their energy back. Colorado halt the momentum by fouling Chris Barnes down low. Brilliant strategy.
The rampant fouls continue as Leslie fouls out on an over-the-back call. One of the worst foul calls I’ve ever seen made much worse by removing Georgia’s top scorer. Crowd rightfully lets the ref know how they feel about it. Luckily, Price is back in for Barnes and hits another layup. The Big Dawg has been a beast these past two games. Imagine the looks he’ll get when teams have to worry about the preseason SEC POY. Dawgs up 71-65
Georgia can ice this game by hitting free throws. Gerald hits one with 40 seconds left giving Georgia a 77-72 lead. Colorado miss and Marcus Thornton gets the rebound with 30 seconds left. He hits one as the Georgia crowd heads for the exits. Robinson gets a steal, makes a layup and with 10 seconds left, Georgia leads 80-74.
After Colorado coach Tad Boyle picks up a T for complaining about the calls, Ware hit’s his free throws and Gerald tacks on one more. Dawgs win 83-74