Georgia falls 67-50 at South Carolina
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia saw its 5-game SEC win streak stopped by South Carolina, which got four players in double figures and took a 67-50 victory here Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (14-6, 5-3) played without scoring and rebounding leader Marcus Thornton, who suffered a concussion in their last game against Vanderbilt four days ago. The void in Georgia’s lineup was evident in its offense, which struggled to season low-matching points and field-goal percentage.
“We missed Marcus’ scoring and rebounding for sure, but we missed his leadership more than anything,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We just seemed disjointed on offense and that was disappointing. We are a team that can’t afford to have two or three of our shooters have off nights. We’ll need to put this game behind us and get ready for the next one.”
Georgia was led in scoring by J.J. Frazier, who got 11 of his 16 points at the free throw line. Charles Mann followed with 14 points, eight of which came from the line. Indeed, as a team Georgia scored equally from the charity stripe (25) as it did from the field.
Indicative of the Bulldogs’ afternoon was their performance from 3-point range. Their first three field goals of the game were all from behind the arc, but for the game’s remainder, they missed their final 12 attempts.
Georgia took its last lead of the game at 6-3 on a trey from Frazier with 17:43 left in the first half. The Gamecocks (11-9, 2-6) took the lead for keeps 45 seconds later on a layup by Duane Notice. Carolina got its lead into double digits for the first time at 25-14 on a 3-pointer by reserve Brian Steele at the 5:09 mark.
The second-half margin reached 15 points before Georgia mounted its only series threat of the final period. Georgia scored seven consecutive points to cut its deficit to 44-36 on a pair of foul shots by Mann with 11:02 left. The Bulldogs had one possession to get closer, but Kenny Gaines missed a 3-pointer.
Momentum swung in Carolina’s favor a final time on its next possession, when Fox was assessed a technical foul after a shooting foul for the Gamecocks. The resulting 5-point trip, culminated on a hook shot by Laimonas Chatkevicius, boosted the home team’s lead back into double digits at 49-36 with 9:47 left.
Georgia hits the road again for its next SEC contest on Tuesday night against No. 1-ranked Kentucky. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. (EST).