UGA Basketball

Frazier’s Season High Leads UGA Past Georgia Tech

UGA-Georgia Tech Basketball 2015
(Photo: Mike Zarrilli-USA TODAY Sports)

Junior guard J.J. Frazier poured in a season-high 35 points in Georgia’s, 75-61, defeat of Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum.

The Bulldogs (5-3) are now 26-6 all-time against the Yellow Jackets (7-3) in Stegeman Coliseum and 52-31 all-time in games played in Athens. The win closed the all-time record gap to 105-87 in favor of Georgia Tech.

Sophomore forward Yante Maten joined Frazier in double figures with 17 points. The Pontiac, Michigan native chipped in four rebounds and three blocks for a complete performance. Frazier finished the night with six three-pointers and went 11-12 from the free throw line.

“That’s a great win for our team,” head coach Mark Fox said. “It’s a great win and our kids have practiced well. We have practiced them very hard in the last 10 days. They have gotten better and beat a good Georgia Tech basketball team. If you look at their numbers they’re probably in the top 50 or 60 in the country. It’s a resume win in that regard and certainly a good win for our team.”

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets battled back and forth for the initial 20 minutes. Georgia Tech took a one-point, 34-33, lead into the break. J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten teamed up to score 24 of the team’s 33 first-half points, while Tadric Jackson led the Yellow Jackets with nine points.

Georgia raced out of the gates to begin the second half with a 7-0 run. Kenny Gaines got things started down low, followed by a J.J. Frazier three point-basket on the ensuing possession. Houston Kessler topped it off with a layup on fast break, forcing the Yellow Jackets to burn a timeout.

The Bulldogs held on to their lead for all of the second period. After allowing the Yellow Jackets to shoot 50-percent in the first half, the Bulldogs buckled down on the defensive end and held Georgia Tech to just 29.6-percent shooting in the second half. Georgia made its free throws down the stretch to secure the

The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET to host Clemson at Stegeman Coliseum. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

POST-GAME NOTES

• The 75-61 win for the Bulldogs was their first over Georgia Tech since the 2010-11 season and brings the all-time series score to 105-87 in the Yellow Jackets’ favor. After trailing 34-33 at halftime, the Bulldogs are now 2-1 on the year when being behind after 20 minutes.
• J.J. Frazier’s 35 points was a season high, surpassing his previous best of 23. He shot 9-of-14 from the field and 6-of-9 on 3s in the game, and he cashed in on 11 free throws. The outburst was the first 30-point performance for a Bulldog since Kenny Gaines’ 35 against Murray State.
• Despite not scoring until the 12:23 mark of the first half, Yante Maten finished second among all players with 11 points at the intermission. Maten poured in 11 of those points during a span of six minutes and eight seconds (12:23-6:15).
• Frazier shot 5-for-8 from the field in the first half en route to 13 points at the break, leading all players. He was 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
• By starting at the “3” position, Charles Mann has now started at four of the five spots on the floor this year for Georgia.
• Derek Ogbeide threw down his first field goal as a Bulldog with an emphatic slam late in the first half. He finished the game with two points, a career high, in his third game of collegiate action. He also claimed a career-high four rebounds.
• The Bulldogs started the second half on an 11-3 run in the opening 2:50, claiming a seven-point lead. Frazier, Kenny Gaines and Houston Kessler all cashed in as the home team caught a spark offensively.
• Houston Kessler’s six points represented a season high, besting his former mark of five against Kansas State. He also tied his career-high eight rebounds, set against Murray State earlier this season.
• Brandon Young scored his first point as a Bulldog with a free throw late in the game.

DOUBLE-DIGIT BULLDOGS

• Yante Maten’s 17-point performance was his sixth double-digit scoring game of the season and 11th of his career.
• J.J. Frazier’s 35-point performance was his sixth double-digit scoring game of the season and 24th of his career. It was his first 30-point performance of the season and second of his career.
• Frazier’s outburst was his third 20-point game of the season and fifth of his career.

POST-GAME QUOTES

Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox

On today’s game…
“Obviously, that’s a great win for our team. A great win. Our kids have practiced well. We practiced them very hard in the last ten days and they’ve gotten better, and we beat a good basketball team. I think [Georgia] Tech, if you look at their numbers, they’re probably top 50 or 60 in the country, so it’s a resume win in that regard. But certainly a big win for our team.”

On J.J. Frazier’s performance…
“The great thing about J.J., and Kenny [Gaines], and Charles [Mann], is that they’re experienced. They just kind of play together. They just kind of play and take what comes throughout the game. And they’re unselfish enough to know — like earlier in the year, when Yante [Maten] had a big night, and the next night Kenny Gaines is wide open and has 30 points… We have a couple guys that can have big nights. [Frazier] has practiced well, and certainly he shot the ball extremely well today.”

Sophomore F Yante Maten

On tonight’s game….
“This game definitely helps us with confidence moving forward. Especially since it’s Georgia Tech because that’s our rival. We plan to go out and give it our all, especially in a game like this where it’s important to our program.”

On raising the flag….
“It felt really good. As the clock was ticking down that’s what I was thinking; we were going to raise the flag.”

Junior G J.J. Frazier

On tonight’s game…
“I wanted this one. I wanted this one a lot. This game is very important to us. Georgia Tech is a really experienced and well organized team. From the jump, I just wanted to be an emotional leader to help our guys understand for 40 minutes we had to play hard and play together and that’s what we did.”

On teammates….
“They could tell by my body language that I had a little extra juice to me. I told them ‘just play ball but if I’m open to pass it but don’t take yourself out of a shot trying to get me the ball.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory

On today’s game…
“Give them credit. We didn’t play very well and I think they were a big reason that we didn’t. They were very good offensively and got us out of rhythm on our offense, particularly in the second half. Having guys on the bench with foul trouble hurt us, but our bench has been good throughout the year, but we didn’t respond very well to that.”

On Georgia’s veteran players…
“Those seniors were playing well for them. Frazier obviously had a great game and we struggled guarding him. We struggled guarding the primary action that they run and when you do that you put yourself in a difficult situation…It seemed like we were a step slow on everything.”

Georgia Tech G Marcus Georges-Hunt

On the game…
“It was a real competitive game. It seemed like they were a step faster than us today. We were losing balls and it seemed like they were getting them all and we weren’t active enough. There were a lot of things that we could have done better, especially in the first half. I will say that as a team we went back and talked about the problems we had and you could see the frustration a little bit. We tried to stick together but there were certain things that kept hitting us and hitting us, and then you start seeing people put their heads down.”

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