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Maten, Defense lead Georgia over Louisiana

UGA-Louisiana
Photo: John Paul Van Wert/UGA

ATHENS, Ga. – Yante Maten scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 73-60, Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

J.J. Frazier added 15 points for Georgia (6-3) while Juwan Parker had a season-high 14. The 60 points scored by Louisiana (8-2) represent its lowest scoring output of the season, as the Ragin’ Cajuns came into the game ranked seventh in the country in points per game (90.1).

“That was a really good game for us,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. “Obviously, Louisiana comes in as one of the top-10 scoring teams in the country, one of the top-10 rebounding teams in the country and we just spent 10 days trying to become a better defending and rebounding team. I was pleased for the most part with our defense and I thought we rebounded it well at times. We got better as a team and we had to beat a good basketball team. That team is a very well-coached team that just won eight games in a row and will win a lot more so it was a good game for our team to certainly win and help make us better.”

Two Bulldogs blocked at least five shots, as Derek Ogbeide had six blocks and Maten had five. Ogbeide’s total sets a new career high, while Maten set a season high. The last time Georgia blocked at least 10 shots in a game was on Nov. 13, 2015, when they blocked 11 vs. Chattanooga.

Georgia opened the game on a 17-5 run, holding the Ragin’ Cajuns scoreless for the game’s first three and a half minutes before a pair of free throws was converted. It was not until the 12:17 mark in the first half that Louisiana made its first field goal, and the Bulldogs ended the first half with a 38-29 lead.

Early in the second half, Louisiana cut the lead to two points, but Georgia went on an 11-3 run to extend the lead to 10. From that point on, the margin never got closer than seven. The Bulldogs shot 44.1 percent from the field in the second half, and were led in the period by Frazier, who had nine points.

The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday, playing host to Charleston Southern. The game will be televised by the SEC Network and is set for a 1:00 p.m. tip.

POST-GAME NOTES

• Yante Maten became the first player in the SEC to post 15-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and five-plus blocks in a game since Anthony Davis in 2011.

• Jordan Harris became the 10th freshman to start a game in the last six seasons underhead coach Mark Fox.

• Georgia opened the contest with a 10-0 run over the game’s first 3:32, its best start to a game this season.

• Louisiana’s 29 first-half points represented its second-lowest scoring output for a half this season (26 in the first half vs. Minnesota).

• UGA shot 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the first half and finished the game 13-for-15 (second-best this year).

• Juwan Parker hit double-digit scoring for the first time since suffering his achilles injury during his sophomore season.

• Maten posted his third double-double of the season (18 points, 15 rebounds), giving him three this season and 14 for his career. He is now alone with the second-most double-doubles among all active SEC players (Kingsley, Ark. – 19; Saiz, OM – 13).

• Derek Ogbeide matched his career high with 13 rebounds as he and Maten became the first duo to post 10+ rebounds and 5+ blocks on the same night under Coach Fox. Ogbeide’s six blocks represented a career best.

POST-GAME QUOTES

Head Coach Mark Fox

On the victory…
“That was a really good game for us. Obviously, Louisiana comes in as one of the top-10 scoring teams in the country, one of the top-10 rebounding teams in the country and we just spent 10 days trying to become a better defending and rebounding team. I was pleased for the most part with our defense and I thought we rebounded it well at times. We got better as a team and we had to beat a good basketball team. That team is a very well-coached team that just won eight games in a row and will win a lot more so it was a good game for our team to certainly win and help make us better.”

On Juwan Parker’s play…
“You know, Juwan has played well but just has been rusty. When you miss essentially two straight years of high level games then it is going to take some time to keep chipping the rust away. We talked the other day and he felt like he was playing the best he has played his whole career but he just hasn’t had the rust just off his jump shot. And tonight some more of it came off. It was good to see him play well because he has certainly been through a lot.”

On balanced scoring…
“I thought we had a lot of guys chip in tonight. I thought Pape Diatta made some key plays for us. I thought E’Torrion Wilridge made a huge play for us tonight, actually a couple of them. Jordan (Harris) got us off to a good start. We had more guys chip in tonight. And if you really look at our wing players; Juwan (Parker) hasn’t played in two years, Jordan is a freshman, Pape is new to the program, Turtle (Jackson) and E’Torrion are just sophomores. Those guys just need experience and time. They are just coming along and tonight helped us.”

Georgia Junior Forward Yante Maten

On defending the rim and blocked shots…
“Coach made sure we were aggressive on the defensive side and me and Derrick both acknowledged that. We tried to rebound at a high rate and make sure we defended the goal at a high rate. I think there was a lot of effort put forth on the defensive side tonight.”

Georgia Junior Forward Juwan Parker

On his jump shot after returning from an achilles injury last season…
“I’m getting there. I got in the film room this week and looked at some stuff, my mechanics were off, so just been focusing on that the last 10 days.”

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