Georgia’s good stretch of play at home continues.
The Bulldogs answered an early run from their SEC foe and were able to top Mississippi 71-60 with very few moments of tension. It marks the first conference win of the season for Georgia, after narrowly falling to Kentucky last Sunday to open conference play.
It wasn’t a dominating performance from leader Yante Maten with a few supporting contributions, as has been the case multiple times this season, but rather a balanced scoring attack. Georgia’s 71-point showing featured four double-digit scorers, and Juwan Parker led the way with 18 points.
The senior guard was 4-of-4 from the 3-point line, three of which came in the second half in which Georgia separated itself.
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"I just got hot and guys like Yante and Turtle (Jackson) tried to find me and I kept shooting," Parker said.
Defensively, Georgia was able to stymie an Ole Miss team that featured significant backcourt contributors.
Four who mattered
Parker: Parker was on fire and had one of the best games of his career. In addition to his 18 points, Parker brought down 11 rebounds. The game was Parker's first career double-double.
Maten: Georgia receives one of its biggest contributions from Maten nearly every night, and it was no different against the Rebels. The Bulldogs’ leader posted 15 points and posted seven rebounds.
Georgia guard Jordan Harris: The Bulldogs’ sophomore guard found his stroke almost immediately. Twenty-seven seconds after entering the action off of the bench, Harris converted on a baseline jumper and didn’t let up from there. Harris posted his first double-digit scoring performance with a career-high 12 points on an effective 5-of-6 shooting.
Georgia forward Derek Ogbeide: Ogbeide’s hook shot has been gaining some consistency as it proved to be beneficial once more. After a 13-point showing against Kentucky, the junior big man topped it with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
After a 9-0 run by Ole Miss in the first half, a converted and-one opportunity by Maten allowed Georgia to finish the period on a 13-7 run and take a 39-31 lead. The Bulldogs then did enough to carry that margin to victory.
Burst from the bench: Georgia hasn’t received consistent bench production this season, but Wednesday’s performance could be a start. The productive performances of Harris, Parker and Claxton led to a combined plus-minus from the three reserves of 42.
Claxton brings the energy: On a second-half play, Parker turned the ball over and Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler was on the break. But freshman Claxton was racing behind him and swatted a layup into the courtside seats. The lanky 6-foot-11 forward erupted into the roar and slammed his fist in excitement — something he had done all night. The freshman was involved in the game for the Bulldogs in many different facets, whether it be with his celebratory antics or his statistical performance. In 17 minutes of play, Claxton recorded 6 points and 2 blocks.
Dunk city: The Stegeman Coliseum crowd was sent into a roar on multiple occasions throughout the action as Georgia put on a display of five dunks. Most notably, E’Torrion Wilridge burst toward the rim in the first half, slammed down a two-handed dunk and converted on an and-one opportunity.
Georgia’s strong defense continues: For the second consecutive game, head coach Mark Fox has reason to be pleased with his team’s defensive effort. After allowing Kentucky’s potentially-explosive offense to 31 percent shooting, it neared that mark once more against a group that features a balanced attack. Ole Miss finished 36 percent from the floor and were led by 11 points from Shuler.
Hammonds limited after fouling out early: Georgia’s freshman starter Rayshaun Hammonds showed flashes of production against Kentucky, but not many opportunities were present in his return home. Hammonds logged only eight minutes and finished 0-of-2 shooting. Hammonds fouled out with 10:23 in regulation.
Frazier in the house: Georgia fans were greeted by one of their favorite former point guards Wednesday night. J.J. Frazier was in attendance for the first time since departing from the program last season, and received a standing ovation. Frazier finished his four-year career with a 12.5 point-per-game average, and now plays with JDA Dijon Basket in France.
They said it
Fox on 3-point defense: "They've been making over 10 3-pointers per game recently, and one of the keys to the game was that we couldn't allow them to do that. They only got six, so we were pleased with our defense. There's probably one we won't be happy with, but we did a nice job for the most part."
Claxton on energy: "I wanted to bring a spark off the bench. I feel like at times we get a little flat, and the fans get a little flat, too. I wanted to bring that spark plug. It was a lot of fun out there."
Fox on Harris: "He was so out of rhythm when the year started, and he's found it in practice. That has carried over into games, and he was really good for us on both ends."
Georgia will stay at home this weekend and host Alabama at noon Saturday.