After watching the Georgia Men’s Basketball team stumble through a three game losing skid and fearing the worst, the Bulldog faithful arrived at the Stegeman Coliseum hoping merely to find a pulse. Instead, the Dawgs leapt from the emergency room table to thrash LSU 91 -78. Georgia junior Marcus Thornton notched his second career double-double with a career high 15 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Dogs.
Nemanja Djurisic led Georgia (11-10, 5-4) in scoring with 17 points. Charles Mann and Brandon Morris also scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.
“That’s a heck of a win for our young people,” said head coach Mark Fox. “As we build our team and our program, you have to believe in yourself and you have to have belief through adversity. We had a tough ten days where we didn’t play very well, and we stuck it out and hung together and kept getting better. We went back to work this week and we beat a terrific basketball team here tonight. I’m proud of our win because we beat a very good team in an absolute battle. It feels good to win tonight. We don’t have long to enjoy it but I’m certainly proud of our team at the moment.”
The Bulldogs (11-19, 5-4) used sterling offensive play (56% shooting from the field, 40% from behind the three point arc, and 82% from the free throw line), and low post domination (24 points in the paint to 4) to take 43-30 lead into the halftime break – its largest halftime lead during conference play this season. With eight minutes left in the first half, Djurisic started an 11-0 run that was capped off by a pair of free throws by Juwan Parker to give Georgia a 34-22 lead. After trading baskets on the next few possessions, Djurisic scored the half’s final two points from the charity stripe to give the Bulldogs a 13-point halftime advantage over the Tigers (14-7, 5-4).
LSU turned up the defensive pressure to start the second half and cut the Georgia lead to 3 points at the 15-minute mark. The Bulldogs then responded with a 9-3 run, capped by a Djurisic three-pointer, to push the lead back to nine, 57-48. The Tigers continued to use pressure defense and again cut the Bulldogs lead to 6 with 12 minutes remaining. JJ Frazier then entered the game and scored a career high 8 points over the next four minutes to stretch the advantage again to 11. LSU would not back down and with four minutes remaining the Tigers pulled to within just six, but Georgia was again resilient and employed 12-3 run to lock the game into the win column.
Jordan Mickey and Andre Stringer, who had 19 points apiece, led the Tigers offensively. While pressure defense continued to bring LSU back into the game, it resulted in foul trouble that hampered LSU for most of the second half, having two players foul out and three others with four fouls each.
The Bulldogs will return to Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday to host Texas A&M (13-9, 4-5). The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:00 p.m. and will be televised on CSS. For ticket information, go to Georgiadogs.com.