With a 71-56 win over Missouri at the Stegeman Coliseum on Tuesday night, Georgia fans are asking if that’s a locomotive disguised as the Georgia basketball team, or the Georgia basketball team disguised as a locomotive. In any event, with the season sweep of the Tigers, the surging Bulldogs have won ten conference games for the first time since the 2003 season.
“That was a really hard fought game,” said head coach Mark Fox. “Missouri has a really good basketball team. They have such a good team that our team had a great respect for them so we were very ready to play. We defended very, very well. We didn’t rebound like we had hoped, but our defense was good. And I thought offensively, we shot the ball pretty well and played a pretty complete game.”
Georgia (16-11, 10-5) had three different players score in doubles figures. Charles Mann led the way with 19 points, 15 coming in the second half to lead Georgia’s domination of the Tigers. Marcus Thornton scored 15 and blocked 3 shots. Kenny Gaines scored 10 points.
After overcoming Missouri advantages on the boards and at three free throw line, the Bulldogs took a lead they would never relinquish on a Charles Mann layup with 8:32 to play in the first half. Taking command of the paint and earning 9 fast break points to Missouri’s none, the Bulldogs ended the first half on a 10-2 run, capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Nemanja Djurisic, to take a 31-22 lead .
Juwan Parker and Thornton combined to put the Bulldogs on a 9-3 run for a14-point Georgia lead just five minutes into the second half. After the Tigers cut the lead to ten, Georgia responded with a 14-4 run to take a 20-point lead with just four minutes remaining.
Georgia held Missouri to just 32 percent shooting from the field, including 3-of-18 from three-point range and the Georgia bench outscored Missouri’s 16 to 2.
The Bulldogs next travel to Fayetteville to play Arkansas on Saturday at 4 p.m. With a win the Bulldogs could put a hammerlock on third place in the SEC. The game will be televised on SEC-TV.