Georgia Bulldogs let one slip away against Auburn


The Georgia Bulldogs had a chance to all but wrap up a shot at the NCAA tournament at home against Auburn, but let it slip away.

It was a chance for Georgia (16-8, 7-5 SEC) to continue making their case as an NCAA Tournament entry when the welcomed the Auburn Tigers (12-13, 4-8 SEC) to Stegeman Coliseum, but with just over two minutes remaining in the game, the Bulldogs let a 5-point lead disappear, as the Tigers came way with a 69-68 win.

Their chances at the Big Dance may not have disappeared, but it certainly wasn’t helped by a home loss to a sub-.500 team.

Kenny Gaines was Georgia’s top scorer, netting 18 points, and four rebounds. Auburn guard KT Harrell led all scorers with 21 points.

The game was back-and-forth all afternoon, with Auburn taking the same 1-point lead into the break that they held at the end of the game. The outcome was not what Georgia needed heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

To look at the stat line, the Bulldogs outplayed Auburn in nearly every facet of the game – bringing down more rebounds, grabbing more steals, giving up fewer turnovers and nearly double the assists. But Georgia couldn’t shoot a thing today, hitting only 37.7 percent overall from the floor, and a tragic 21.1 percent from behind the arc.

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Auburn, on the other hand, shot at a 44.9 percent clip overall, and hit 7-for-17 from 3-point range. But where Georgia typically wins contests like this is at the free throw line, and Auburn was able to match Georgia’s production from the charity stripe.

Georgia faces this same Auburn team again in the regular season finale on the road. They’ll need to play much better defense, and do a better job of shot selection when that game comes around.

What does this mean now for Mark Fox’s Bulldogs? With six games remaining, three on the road and one at home against No. 1 Kentucky, the Dawgs will need to practically win out if they want to stay off the tournament bubble.

Next up for the Bulldogs, the South Carolina Gamecocks — who beat Georgia on Jan. 31, 67-50 — will come to Athens on Tuesday for a 7:00 pm tip-off at Stegeman Coliseum.

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