The Georgia men’s basketball team could not overcome an early 8-point deficit and saw its five-game win streak snapped as the No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes beat the Bulldogs 84-70 Saturday night at the Coors Events Center. The game was Georgia’s first true road game and first game against a ranked opponent this season.
Nemanja Djurisic and Kenny Gaines led Georgia (6-5) offensively with 12 points apiece. Cameron Forte led the Bulldogs with five rebounds.
If one is looking for a single statistic to explain the loss, the Buffaloes 100% free throw shooting on 26 attempts stands in stark contrast to the Bulldogs 50% free throw shooting on 18 attempts. If one would like another telling statistic, the Bulldogs were out-rebounded 34 to 22. Georgia is 0 – 5 when out rebounded.
The Bulldogs shot a season-best 62.5 percent from three-point range, but it wasn’t enough to overcome deficits at the foul line and rebounding. “Colorado is very balanced offensively and we knew they could score from a lot of places,” said head coach Mark Fox. “One of the things we talked about as a team is that we couldn’t send them to the foul line and we had to win the rebounding battle. And we didn’t do those two things which was the difference in the game.”
“[Colorado, 11-2] is a terrific team,” continued Fox. “It’s a high-level, nationally ranked team. We lost our poise in the first half but we battled back and had our chances. We had a couple plays [that didn’t go our way] that were huge swings and we have to learn from those things. We competed and learned a lot about ourselves.”
After trailing by 18 points midway through the first half, the Bulldogs used a 11-4 run in the half’s final four minutes, including a three-pointer from Charles Mann with just two seconds remaining, to cut the Buffaloes’ lead to 46-35 heading into the halftime break.
In the second half, Georgia shrunk the Colorado advantage to just ten points with six minutes remaining, but Colorado fought back behind seven straight points from Spencer Dinwiddle and strong free throw shooting to hold onto its 11th win of the season.
Colorado has won ten of its last 11 games. Askia Booker and Dinwiddle led the Buffalos with 19 and 17 points, respectively. All five Colorado starters scored in double-figures.
Georgia will returns to action on Friday, Jan. 3 in the Washington D.C., visiting George Washington (11-1). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on CSS.