Georgia Basketball downs Georgia Southwestern in opening exhibition


Dawg fans got their first peek at the 2014 Georgia basketball team last night.

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Invited in to the Stegeman Coliseum for an exhibition tune up, visiting

Georgia Southwestern

converted a flurry of last minute three-pointers to make the 65 – 61 final score closer than the game as the Bulldogs led by 11 with a minute to play.

The big news, however, was the play of freshman Yante Maten. Maten scored 10 points and secured 12 rebounds. Maten also led the team in minutes played with 28, added four assists and blocked two shots to go with his double-double.

With Kenny Gaines out while recovering from illness, the Bulldogs started Charles Mann at point, Taylor Echols at guard, Kenny Paul Geno at small forward, Marcus Thornton at center, and Nemi Djurisc at storing forward.

Sophomore guard Juwan Parker scored 10 points in 20 minutes of play and the red-shirt senior Thornton claimed seven rebounds in 16 minutes of play. A total of 13 players saw game time for Georgia.

Coach Fox announced last Wednesday the loss of Gaines and there is no indication when he may return.

“Kenny has been ill. He has not practiced and there’s really no timetable for his return,” Fox told Chip Towers of the “We know he will return at some point this season, but he’s been very sick.”

Gaines was Georgia’s second-leading scorer last year averaging 13 points per game.

In the first half, Georgia shot just 34% from the field, made 3-of-8 free throw attempts to trail 26-23 at the half.

Coach Fox commented to “I was a little surprised how our returning players were a little uneasy to start the game, that was a little disappointing to me, but it was their first time out and they will move on.”

After a pair of free throws by sophomore J.J. Frazier cut the lead to one at the start of the second half, Damien Leonard hit a layup to extend Georgia Southwestern’s lead to 28-25. Georgia then scored 11 unanswered points in the next six-minutes and the Bulldogs led 36-28.

“It was good to get out in front of people,” Georgia head coach Fox said after the game. “I wanted to get everybody significant time on the floor and it was a good experience for us.  I am glad we got the first-game jitters out of the way.”

The Bulldogs outscored Georgia Southwestern 38-12 inside the paint and bench players scored 40 points, including 25 in the second half.

The Dawgs now have a week to prepare for the must win season opener in Atlanta against arch-rival Georgia Tech. Tech has won three straight games over the Bulldogs.