The Georgia Bulldogs forced 13 turnovers and had three players score in double digits as they claimed a pivotal 62-53 road victory over Texas A&M at Reed Arena on Wednesday night.
Georgia improves to 16-7 (7-4) on the season with the win, while Texas A&M falls to 16-7 (7-4).
The Bulldogs shot 42 percent (22-52) from the field and were led in scoring by junior guard Kenny Gaines, who contributed 15 points, three steals, and three rebounds on the night. Junior guard Charles Mann and senior forward Nemanja Djurisic were second and third on the team in scoring with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Mann also added a team-high four assists, while senior forward Marcus Thornton led the team with eight rebounds. As a team, the Bulldogs committed a season-low seven turnovers.
“We played a tournament game tonight,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. “We took care of the ball and Charles Mann was really, really good with the ball in his hands, as were most of the guys around him.”
The Aggies were paced in scoring by Alex Caruso’s 20 point effort. Danuel House was second on the squad with 14. As a team, A&M shot 40 percent (19-47) from the field, and was outrebounded 33-31 by Georgia.
The Bulldogs fell behind early in the first half but managed to take the lead for the first time when Thornton finished off a good move with a powerful dunk at the 14:37 mark. The Aggies briefly regained the advantage, but Gaines scored a three-pointer and jumper on back-to-back possessions to ignite a 9-1 run for Georgia that lasted until A&M’s Caruso hit a three-pointer with 5:32 remaining in the opening period.
A layup by Djurisic pushed the Georgia lead as high as 8 points as the Bulldogs took a 34-26 lead with 2:22 to play in the first, but the Aggies embarked on a 5-0 run to close out the half and cut Georgia’s lead to 34-31 heading into the break.
Following the intermission, the teams exchanged leads four times in the opening seven minutes as both squads battled to gain an advantage. Up three, Georgia began extending the margin when senior guard Taylor Echols drained a three-pointer from distance to open up a six-point Bulldog lead with 7:40 to play.
“I thought the basket Echols made off the bench was key,” said Fox. “We were in serious foul trouble and needed that.”
A Cameron Forte layup on Georgia’s next possession widened the gap to eight points, and a stingy Georgia defense didn’t allow the A&M offense to bring the score any closer than six. When Mann found Gaines out wide with 43 seconds remaining, the junior drained a three-pointer to put the Bulldogs ahead 58-51 and sink any hopes of a Texas A&M comeback. The 22 points allowed by Georgia in the second half is a season-low.
The game ended with a final score of 62-53.
Georgia at Texas A&M Notes
· Georgia’s starting lineup was: Marcus Thornton (81st career start), Nemanja Djurisic (47th), J.J. Frazier (12th), Charles Mann (62nd) and Kenny Gaines (53rd).
· The Bulldogs held the Aggies to 22 second half points, the lowest point total allowed by Georgia in a second half this season.
· The Bulldogs committed a season-low 7 turnovers against the Aggies.
· With the win, Georgia improves to 4-0 all-time against Texas A&M.
· The Bulldogs will return home to face the Auburn Tigers (11-13, 3-8) on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET in Stegeman Coliseum.
Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications