Georgia Bulldogs Need 3OT to Take Down Mercer Bears


The Georgia Bulldogs took all Mercer had before surviving 86- 77 in the first ever triple overtime game in Stegeman Coliseum.

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J.J. Frazier began on oft told story of this year’s Georgia basketball team, coming off the bench for nine first half points to go with a steal and three assists. But a stubborn Mercer Bear squad grabbed Georgia by the tail in the second half and Georgia’s Charles Mann, Nemi Djurisic, Marcus Thornton and Kenny Gaines took turns being heroes through three overtimes.

Frazier finally returned to the fore for the the Dawgs final point as the Bears fell 86 – 77.

The back court heroes were unlikely as the game unfolded early.

In fact, neither team could throw the ball in the ocean from the field during regulation. Adding to Georgia’s woes was 57% free throw shooting on a night when Mercer committed 31 fouls.

With Mercer, playing with nothing to lose, the Bears warmed to the challenge and wore out the Stegeman netting in the first overtime, scoring on three pointer after three pointer. Georgia, on the other hand, called on its senior post players Thornton and Djurisic to keep the Bulldogs in the game.

In the second overtime Georgia relied on fight as the Bulldog guards found their footing.

Guard play and fight came together late in the second overtime for the Dawgs on what, should Georgia eventually process down the road to the NCAA Tournament, could be the play of the season. After a Jordan Strawberry missed layup with 22 seconds to play and Mercer leading by 2, Mercer’s Stephon Jelks rebounded for what should have been the final nail in Georgia’s coffin.

Dec 21, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Fox reacts to a call during the game against the Seton Hall Pirates during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia defeated Seton Hall 65-47. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

But with the Dawgs swarming, Jelks reacted with an offensive foul, giving Georgia the ball. Gaines then hit a lay up with seconds left to force a third overtime. With Mercer now feeling the pressure of the favored and the Bulldogs playing like upstarts, junior guards Gaines and Mann then took their turn in the spotlight, hitting jumpers and eventually blunting the Mercer offensive attack.

The beleagured Mann led Georgia in scoring with 22 and played 50 minutes. Thornton and Djurisic both scored 17.

In the final analysis, Georgia relied on fight, finishing the game without substituting for Frazier, Mann, Gaines, Djurisic, and Thornton for the three overtime periods until Thornton’s fifth foul with 3:27 to play in the third overtime brought Yante Maten into the game.

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