Here are five observations from Georgia's 63-62 loss against Texas A&M.
No way around it, this was a choke
Georgia (12-7, 4-3 SEC) was in control throughout the game. It held a 10-point lead over the Aggies at halftime and lengthened it to 13 in the second half. But Georgia could never create that kill-shot run to put Texas A&M away. Instead, the Aggies went on an 13-2 run to go ahead by one with 21 seconds left to play.
Included in this, Georgia led by nine with two minutes left to play. There is really no excuse for what happened. When Texas A&M (10-8, 2-5) went to its 1-2-2 full-court press, Georgia had no answer. Having called as many timeouts as it did, certainly the Bulldogs could have come up with something to break the press. Right? But repeatedly, the Bulldogs sent a man to the near corner, got trapped and lost control of the ball. That's how four consecutive turnovers occurred, leading to a frantic Texas A&M rally.
Hogg: They kept putting it in the corner. That's where we trap. They didn't handle the pressure very well. They pretty much gave it to us.— TexAgs (@TexAgs) January 21, 2017
There is still plenty of time left in this season but this is a killer on the resume. With six losses entering the game, Georgia is in a position to win the ones it's supposed to. Do that, and you're probably in the big dance.
The lack of adjustment on the full-court press down the stretch proved costly and it's something the Bulldogs will have to deal with until next Wednesday's game against Alabama.
A monumental failure by officials, technical difficulty or not
Georgia did have a final possession to try and score a basket. And it looked like forward Yante Maten would head to the line to shoot two free throws with a chance to put the Bulldogs back ahead.
But the officials responsible for keeping the clock failed miserably at their job and stopped the clock with 5.6 seconds left to play. This was later credited to a "belt pack malfunction." (Whatever that actually means.)
A&M officials are saying it was a 'belt pack' malfunction on official that caused clock to stop with 5.6 seconds left. Ags beat Ga 63-62.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) January 21, 2017
By rule, if a clock error like this occurs, officials go to the replay and run a stop watch to determine how much time is left, or if there is any.
Upon review, time ran out before the foul on Maten. Georgia loses and head coach Mark Fox looked quite displeased.
The problem here is J.J. Frazier is making a decision on the fly and looks up and sees the clock read 5.6 seconds when there is, in fact, not 5.6 seconds left to play. That changes everything with that possession, which was certainly unfair to Georgia.
But as bad as this was, Georgia still had every opportunity to win this game. While the officials deserve a ton of scorn for this mistake, the Bulldogs still did everything possible to let this game slip away.
Defending Davis, Williams
Throughout the game, Georgia did a pretty good job on Texas A&M center Tyler Davis along the interior. Rarely was Davis able to use his size and strength in the paint, and was routinely stripped of the ball by the Bulldogs' guards.
Maten and Georgia forward Derek Ogbeide did a good job on limiting what Davis, who entered the game leading the SEC with a 61.3 field-goal percentage, was able to do inside. Davis scored only eight points on 3-of-10 shooting. Davis was also abysmal from the free-throw line, going 2-of-7 from the stripe.
But Georgia had to deal with forward Robert Williams, a big 6-foot-9 and 237-pounder. For stretches, Georgia did well defending Williams. Down the stretch, Williams got the best of the Bulldogs, and helped force Ogbeide, Mike Edwards and Juwan Parker to all foul out.
Williams proved to be the difference on Texas A&M's offensive end, scoring 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Free throws key again
The Texas A&M fans didn't seem happy with the officials during the game, at least judging by this tweet from the Dallas Morning News' Ben Baby.
Some fan at Reed Arena just yelled "I know you don't want the Aggies to win, ref!" while an A&M player was shooting a free throw.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 21, 2017
Of course, the stats tell a different story.
For the game, Texas A&M went 14-of-27 shooting from the free-throw line.
Georgia, conversely, converted on 12 of its 14 free-throw attempts. Georgia shot the better percentage but Texas A&M made two more thanks to its ability to get to the line more often. And the Aggies won by one point.
Crump hits halftime buzzer-beater, sits rest of game
Remember this story from earlier in the week? Well, perhaps that buzzer-beating 3-pointer Tyree Crump had at the end of the first half could aid the freshman's confidence.
With time running out in the first half, Crump received a pass and launched a 3-ball with perfect rotation through the net. Crump was all smiles running off of the court, which is a good sign for Georgia to see. If Crump can add another 3-point threat over the final half of the season, Georgia will be in great shape.
But that play would be Crump's last of the game. He didn't play at all in the second half, which makes it seem like he's limited to a first-half role for the time being.