Bulldogs roll to 82-60 win over Troy
ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia men’s basketball team (2-1) cruised to its second win of the season on Friday night with an 82-60 victory over the Troy Trojans (1-2) in Stegeman Coliseum.
Four Bulldogs scored in doubles digits and the team shot 51% from the field as it surged to its second straight home victory of the season with a solid performance on both sides of the ball.
Georgia was led in scoring by a pair of seniors in Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic, who scored 17 points apiece in the winning effort. Juniors Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Mann also led the Bulldogs with 8 rebounds.
The Bulldogs outrebounded the Trojans on both boards and scored 56 points in the paint. They also recorded season highs with 17 assists and 82 points while holding Troy to just 23 first half points and 60 overall. Both point totals were the lowest allowed by Georgia this season.
“I thought we played much harder tonight than we’ve been playing. I thought our defense was much better, especially for the first half,” said head coach Mark Fox. “I don’t think we played quite as well defensively, or offensively for that matter, once we had a lead of any significance, but we certainly played more complete basketball tonight versus a well-coached, quick, athletic team who is going to win more than their fair share of games.”
Troy scored the first points of the game from the foul line, but buckets on back-to-back possessions from Thornton and Djurisic gave the Bulldogs an early lead that they never relinquished.
Gaines, earning his first start of the season, added a three-pointer and layup to extend Georgia’s lead in the opening minutes. Djurisic then led the offensive charge for the Bulldogs in the first half with 10 points.
On defense, the Bulldogs held the Trojans scoreless through a 6:02 segment in the opening period while scoring 7 points of their own in the process. That run allowed the hosts to enter the break with a 38-23 lead.
Georgia resumed the second half right where it had left off as Gaines and sophomore Juwan Parker each scored a pair of baskets to sustain the momentum. The Bulldogs’ offensive efficiency meant the Trojans were unable to bring the gap closer than 13 points, and Georgia was able to push its own lead as high as 26 with 2:52 remaining in the game.
A three-pointer by senior Taylor Echols in the closing seconds of the game put a punctuation on the Bulldogs’ 82-60 win.
Georgia vs. Troy Notes
· Tonight’s game was the fifth all-time meeting between the two programs. Georgia has now won all five matchups dating back to 1977.
· Georgia’s starting lineup featured Kenny Gaines (33rd career start), Nemanja Djurisic (28th), Juwan Parker (6th), Charles Mann (43rd), and Marcus Thornton (63rd).
· The win is Georgia’s seventh consecutive regular season home victory dating back to the 91-78 win over LSU on Feb. 6, 2014.
· Marcus Thornton set a career high in points scored with 17.
· J.J. Frazier posted a career high five assists.
· Freshman Yante Maten recorded the first two steals of his young Georgia career.
· Kenny Gaines’ four blocks represented a career high for the junior. Nemanja Djurisic also set a career high in blocks with three on the night.
The Bulldogs will return to action in less than 48 hours to face Florida Atlantic in Athens on Sunday for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off. It will be their last tune-up before playing No. 13 Gonzaga next Wednesday in New York as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Georgia is also guaranteed to face either Minnesota or St. John’s while in NYC.