Georgia hit the road over the weekend in hopes of starting SEC play on a high note. Thanks to an impressive shooting performance - and a big game by big man Russel Tchewa - the Dawgs were able to do just that by outlasting Missouri, 75-68.
UGA shot 48% (24-for-50) from the field and 43% (12-for-28) from three-point land. Tchewa went a perfect 5-for-5 while cashing in 8-of-9 from the free throw line. The 7-foot, 275-pound senior also snagged 11 rebounds to secure his first double-double of the season.
Georgia (11-3, 1-0 SEC) was hot early. The Dawgs rode a 16-0 run to take a 17-point lead at the 1st half’s six minute mark. That stretch was in large part powered by Noah Thomasson, who began 3-for-3 behind the arc en route to 13 first half points.
Yet the Tigers (8-6, 0-1 SEC) answered with a 15-0 run of their own and by the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Bulldog lead had dwindled to 2.
The 2nd half was a back and forth affair that saw both teams cool down substantially, at least in the scoring column. With 11:23 to play, Mizzou took its first lead since the early goings via a Sean East II lay-in. East led all Tigers with 18 points in the ballgame. Minutes later, Mizzou extended its lead to 3. But the Dawgs’ bleeding would stop there.
With 3 and a half minutes remaining, Silas Demary Jr. nailed a corner three to give UGA a 4-point lead. The freshman came through with 10 points on the afternoon and his clutch shot provided the closing spark the Bulldogs needed to pull out the victory.
“I thought we hit some timely threes where if two or three of them don’t go, we could’ve been in trouble and the game could’ve gone the other way,” said Georgia Coach Mike White after the game. “I thought down the stretch, we were pretty sharp. And of course, the bench scoring continues to help us.”
The Dawgs’ bench accounted for 23 points Saturday behind senior guard Justin Hill’s 16.
The Bulldogs’ next test comes back in Athens where they host Arkansas (9-5, 0-1 SEC) on Wednesday night. It will be an opportunity for Georgia to start 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Georgia vs Arkansas Wednesday, 9p.m. TV: ESPNU