Georgia wins, 72-70
Well I guess this one was a lesson that Georgia can't take a night off with Trey Thompkins out. But the Bulldogs pulled it out, which good teams manage to do on their bad nights.
Travis Leslie hauled in a rebound with a second left, as Mississippi Valley State - after hitting all those 3s - tried to force overtime on a running banker.
Georgia's free throw shooting didn't do it any favors in the final minute, as Gerald Robinson went 2-for-4 and Dustin Ware was 1-for-2. But its defense did the job.
Jeremy Price finishes as the game's leading scorer, with 20 points, eight of them when it mattered most.
44.9 left, Georgia leads 70-68
Travis Leslie just made a layup to give Georgia a late lead, but the story right now is Jeremy Price, who scored eight straight points in a little more than a minute to change the complexion of the game.
It was 66-59 when Valley hit yet another 3. On the other end, Price made a quick layup while being fouled. After a media timeout, he completed the three-point play.
A few seconds later, Price snuck out to midcourt and batted the ball away. He grabbed it and made the layup while being fouled. Again he made the free throw.
After a missed shot by the Devils, Price again got the ball in the paint, and again was fouled making a layup. This time he missed the free throw, but Georgia still had a 67-66 lead.
3:11 left, Georgia trails 66-61
Well, this game is officially on upset alert. The Bulldogs are down two possessions with a few minutes left, and need to do what they haven't been able to this half - put together a string of defensive stops.
Georgia finally showed a lot of energy, especially as the crowd got into it. But Mississippi Valley State kept matching it, and a 3-pointer extended the lead to 66-59. You could feel the air go out of Stegeman Coliseum on that one.
Luckily for the Bulldogs, Jeremy Price came back with a layup, and got fouled. He'll be shooting a free throw after the timeout.
Gerald Robinson has been doing everything he could, and has a team-high 17 points. But he picked up his fourth foul with 4:24 left.
Travis Leslie has a quiet 14 points, and needs to do more. He had a chance to make it a two-point game, but missed the put-back.
Georgia trails 56-49 with 9:00 left
This has turned into a game of many problems for Georgia: Perimeter defense, defensive rebounding, 3-point shooting, ball-handling ...
The frustrations are summed up with Travis Leslie, who is stuck on 12 points and can't hit an outside shot. And over the past few minutes, the Bulldogs have allowed a slew of second and third chances for Mississippi Valley State.
The fans are reigning boos down on the officials. But I'm really not sure it's their fault the bigger and more talented Bulldogs can't box out and rebound.
The good news for the Bulldogs: Because they've been called for more fouls with this much time left, that will correct itself over the remainder of the game and they'll get their share of favorable calls. You know, that just tends to happen sometimes. Pure coincidence.
Georgia trails 47-44 with 14:56 left in second half
Ex-Bulldogs Jarvis Hayes and Damien Wilkins are each here tonight. Their former team could use them at the moment.
Mississippi Valley State is still nailing 3s, as whatever Mark Fox did to adjust his team's perimeter defense isn't working yet. Valley hit its first 3 attempt of the second half to go up 40-36.
The Bulldogs rallied, but yet another 3, this time by Kevin Burwell, gave Valley a 47-44 lead. Then Burwell was fouled shooting a 3-pointer.
The Devils are an incredible 9-for-12 from beyond the arc. That's pretty much the story right now.
Georgia trails 37-36 at the half
Remember how good Georgia looked good last week without Trey Thompkins? Well this week, not so much, and this one counts.
The Bulldogs are trailing Mississippi Valley State, which has been unconscious from outside. The Devils are 7-for-9 on three-pointers, in addition to a few other jumpers.
Travis Leslie has struggled for Georgia, and ended the half with an airball from the corner. He does have eight points, and Gerald Robinson has a team-high nine in his debut.
But the Bulldogs aren't getting much scoring producting from their big men: Chris Barnes is scoreless and Jeremy Price has five. They've gotten some rebounds and blocks, but that's to be expected against a smaller MVSU team, which has managed its share of offensive rebounds.
Georgia will be fine as long as it clamps down its perimeter defense in the second half. But it would definitely lose a few more Thompkins-less games if it doesn't get more from Leslie and the inside guys.
Georgia leads 30-29 with 4:40 left
I have to think Mark Fox likes that Georgia is facing a pressing team like this early on. As long as the Bulldogs win.
Georgia had trouble with the press early on, but has been able to get in its half-court offense a bit more as the first half has worn on. Connor Nolte and Dustin Ware hit 3s, after the team went without one over the first seven minutes.
Gerald Robinson had nine points in the first 12 minutes. He had a nice scoop on a drive, adjusting when a defender stepped under the basket.
But Travis Leslie started quietly, his only points in the first 15 minutes coming on (what else) a dunk early in the game. At first Leslie seemed to just be playing passively, but lately he's just been missing shots, and starting to get frustrated.
Tied at 15 at the under-12 media timeout.
It’s early, but unlike the exhibition game you can see the absence felt of Trey Thompkins. The Bulldogs are giving up too many rebounds, and right now Mississippi Valley State has taken twice as many shots (18) as Georgia.
Georgia started a small lineup. Chris Barnes didn’t start, but he came in quickly and swatted a MVSU shot out of bounds.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead, at which point the Devils called timeout and promptly tied it at nine. Then a couple 3s pushed the Devils to a 15-11 lead.
Georgia didn’t attempt its first 3 until seven minutes in. Gerald Robinson made the second attempt to tie it.
7:15 p.m.: Yeah, I'm blogging
We interrupt the Cam Newton saga for the start of what's expected to be a big season for the Georgia men's basketball season.
The Bulldogs tip off Friday against Mississippi Valley State, which is the alma mater of Jerry Rice and ... Well that's pretty much all I know. They appear to have green uniforms, based on what I can tell in warmups. Also, they're in Mississippi.
I'll check in now and then in this space with some thoughts and observations. Score updates and such will be on the Twitter feed.
Here's Georgia's starting lineup: PG Dustin Ware, SG Gerald Robinson Jr., SF Travis Leslie, PF Connor Nolte, C Jeremy Price ... Robinson takes the place of Chris Barnes in the one change from the exhibition game, as Mark Fox elects to go smaller.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Georgia wins, 72-70