Georgia faced Arkansas State after an 11-day layoff in Stegeman Coliseum, pulling out the win 68-59. Coach Mark Fox was proud of his team for getting the win, particularly Chris Barnes, who Fox called “terrific”, going 5-6 from the field and finishing with 12 points and three rebounds. Trey Thompkins led all scorers with 15 points.
Despite earning a 20-point lead deep into the second half, the game was not without some drama. Arkansas State battled back and was within two possessions of tying the game, but a steal from Jeremy Price and two free throws from Dustin Ware ensured Georgia another home victory.
Fox credited Arkansas State for battling throughout the game but was disappointed with his team for a lack of concentration with the lead. “We haven’t established the ability to play well with the lead,” Fox stated, adding, “As we get ahead, we lose attention to detail.” Barnes said the team needs to learn how to finish teams off and Gerald Robinson didn’t think his team was playing hard enough. The phrase “step on their throats” was used multiple times by both players, perhaps echoing a theme from the lengthy post-game speech.
It’s possible the 11-day layoff between games also played a role in the late comeback for Arkansas State. Fox dismissed the idea but Barnes said it did play a factor.
Fox was hopeful that experience in these situations will improve the team’s ability to finish games off. “It’s an area we haven’t matured in but that comes with experience” Fox noted. Robinson said it was something they will continue to work on in the next few games before SEC play kicks on January 8th when Kentucky comes to town.
Of course, it’s somewhat of a good problem to have. As Fox pointed out, it’s better than the opposite — playing poorly when you have a deficit.
In a lighter note, Coach Fox and Chris Barnes have a standing bet that Fox has to run the Sanford Stadium steps anytime Barnes hits two free throws in a row, a feat Barnes accomplished in the second half. Fox hoped Barnes wouldn’t remember, but the big man smiled and said, “I haven’t forgotten. I’ll be out there to watch him.”
Welcome to a virtually empty Fort Stegeman where the Dawgs take on Arkansas State.
First glance, State is very small. Trey and Jeremy should have a field day.
Starters are the usual for the Dawgs with Ware, Robinson, Leslie, Thompkins and Price. Finn, Boone, Peterson, Allison, and Adams start for State.
Points are coming easy for Georgia when they get the ball in the paint or in transition. Shooting hasn’t been great for Georgia. State are keeping it close with good movement…or sloppy defense from Georgia. 13-8 Dawgs at the first official timeout.
State have switched to a zone which, as has been the case for most of the season, is giving Georgia problems. Taken a couple of bad shots so far? Are they really going to hope someone catches lightning in a bottle like Ware against Tech?
State comes out of the zone which would normally mean better results for the offense but Trey and Trav are taking a a breather and the offense looks a bit stagnant. Gerald Robinson’s speed with the shot clock running low is creating the bulk of the offense . 23-18 Dawgs with 10 left.
Travis just had a layup blocked. Not just any layup. One where is stays in the air for 5 minutes. That’s not supposed to happen.
Fear not, he answers back on the other end.
Considering the size difference, Georgia’s rebounding has been atrocious these past few minutes. The offense is still in a rut despite being at full force and Gerald’s ability to get to the rim continues to be Georgia’s best weapon. Dawgs up 29-24 with 4 left.
The second Trey touches the ball, State has began double and, in once case, triple teaming him. State has been missing a lot of open looks and Georgia has pulled away a bit at halftime. It’s 36-27 Dawgs.
Georgia is doubling State in points in the paint with 20.
Georgia’s biggest lead was 11 with 20 seconds left.
Georgia has 4 blocks and 4 steals.
Georgia is 1-6 from 3, State is 1-10.
Georgia shot 53% from the field, State just 34%
Trey leads Georgia with 8 points, Rashad Allison leads all scorers with 12.
Great sequence of events to start the half for Georgia. A quick bucket to start off, some missed shots for Arkansas State followed by a 3 from Dustin Ware and a huge block from Trey that lead to a transition layup for Gerald. Georgia is looking to avoid the second-half slump that has haunted them most of the season and they now lead 46-28.
If something interesting happens, I swear I’ll let you know. But after Georgia brought the heat to open the half, a whole lotta nothin’s happened. It’s 55-34 Georgia.
Almost an interesting moment there as Thornton goes up for a massive alley oop. But he missed. Dawgs still in control 59-42.
Georgia put this one away despite a late run from State (you kind of knew it was coming in some form) and win it 68-59. Still some kinks to work out before SEC play, but they’ll have 4 more games to sort it out.