Georgia got off to an abysmal start Monday night and fell to the Youngstown State Penguins 68-56 in a regional game of the 2012 Legends Classic. The loss drops the Hoop Dawgs to 1-1 on the season.
The Penguins raced out to an 8-0 lead to start the game before Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit finally a three-pointer just over four minutes into the game. Georgia then went scoreless for almost four more minutes and found themselves down 12-3.
It didn’t get much better in the first half as Youngstown State took a 25-14 lead into halftime. The Bulldogs finished the half making only 3 of 24 shots from the floor (12.5%).
Five minutes into the second half, Caldwell-Pope hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 32-29. But he picked up his third foul and was sent to the bench by head coach Mark Fox.
That proved to be the wrong move as Georgia went scoreless for the next 4:35 and the Penguins increased their lead to 38-29. Caldwell-Pope would later hit a basket to cut the lead to 40-33, but the Dawgs couldn’t get any closer.
“That was a frustrating loss,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “They came in here and beat our tail. We set the game back 10 years the way we played offensively in the first half.”
Caldwell-Pope finished the game with 27 points, six rebounds and four steals. He was the lone bright spot for Georgia despite his cold start. The four other UGA starters combined for only 18 points on 4-of-28 shooting. Marcus Thornton scored 8, Sherrard Brantley 7, Nemanja Djurisic 2 and Vincent Williams 1.
Tim Dixon came off the bench to add eight points in the loss. John Florveus, who scored three, was the only other Bulldog with points.
Overall, Georgia shot 32.1% from the floor (17-of-53) and 37.5% from three-point range (6-of-16). The Dawgs were outrebounded 34-28 and committed 15 turnovers, which was one less than Youngstown State.
Georgia’s next game is Thursday, Nov. 15 at home against Southern Miss (8 p.m. ET, FSN). It’s the second regional game in the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic. The Bulldogs advance to the semifinals in Brooklyn regardless of the results of tonight’s game or Thursday vs. USM.