Georgia Basketball: Dawgs depleted roster and Gamecocks defense leads to loss


The South Carolina Gamecock defense took advantage of the Bulldogs’ short roster to take an SEC victory over the Georgia Basketball team.

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Georgia lost on the road to a hungry South Carolina team 67-50 in Columbia Saturday afternoon.

Georgia opened the game against the Gamecocks completely discombobulated. Forced to play without bell cow and leading scorer Marcus Thornton, the Dawgs dug deep into the bench early.  South Carolina, hungry for a conference win after three close losses, took advantage of second line post men Houston Kessler and Fred Iduwe, forcing the Georgia guards to initiate the Bulldog offense well beyond the 3-point arc.

The Dawgs hung around early but the Gamecock defense turned Bulldog offensive miscues into easy points to take a 15 point advantage with three minutes remaining in the first half.

Despite the depleted roster, Georgia demonstrated once again its trademark resilience and cut the South Carolina lead to nine. Frazier took another turn at carrying the Bulldogs on his slender shoulders with nine first half points..

While the game was an unfortunate testimony to the value of Marcus Thornton, Georgia also played without injured Juwan Williams and Kenny Paul Geno. The Dawgs lost the use of Yante Maten to foul trouble in the first half.

Jan 31, 2015; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks forward Laimonas Chatkevicius (14) draws a foul from Georgia Bulldogs guard Charles Mann (4) while completing the basket in the first half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

To protect the Dawgs, Coach Mark Fox resorted to extended use of a zone defense and the highly rated Georgia defense was simply not itself.  On offense, Georgia shot 22% from the field, but 14% on3-point shooting.

Frazier’s efforts left the Dawgs with a chance in the second half. But the Dawgs opened the second half like the first. The deficit grew quickly to 15 and the Dawgs could not recover.

While Georgia guards Mann and Frazier scored 30 between them and the Dawgs hung around, the Dawgs’ zone defense was not effective and the inside production of 13 points inadequate.

Next: A Story of Redemption for J.J. Frazier