Georgia let South Carolina shoot the long-range jumper from the start.
And early, the Gamecocks missed. Shots weren't falling and the Bulldogs, a team coming off of two quality wins a week ago, were able to hang around. But Georgia continued to let South Carolina shoot from the perimeter.
Eventually, the shots began to fall.
Aided by a 20-8 run to close the first half, which included South Carolina making four 3-pointers, the Gamecocks completed a season-sweep over the Bulldogs with a 66-57 win at Colonial Life Arena.
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Georgia (15-12, 6-9 SEC) was paced by guard Turtle Jackson, who had 14 points in the game.
The Crump question
After Saturday's win over Tennessee, Georgia head coach Mark Fox, for whatever reason, felt compelled to accuse the media of not liking his players. He doubled down on that during a Monday appearance on 680 The Fan.
But that begs this question: Why doesn't Fox like guard Tyree Crump enough to play him consistent minutes without the threat of pulling him?
Obviously, forward Yante Maten is this team's best player. But of the other options on this team, it's safe to say Crump is the best at creating his own shot. He did so a couple of times against the Gamecocks. With 12:46 to go in the game, and the shot clock winding down, Crump put up a shot with a defender draped all over him. It swished through the bottom of the net.
Crump did end up playing 20 minutes in the game. But he only played seven minutes in the first half. As a sophomore, Crump is still figuring out the defensive end, although that has been a much-improved part of his game over the course of the season. Fans, reporters and general observers have been wondering all season long why Crump hasn't played the minutes he has deserved all year.
The Georgia killer
Guard Frank Booker has proved to be a quality bench player for the Gamecocks.
Booker entered the game averaging 11.9 points as a non-starter, with the ability to hit the deep ball. Booker lit the Bulldogs up for 17 points during the first meeting between the teams in Athens.
In this game, it was more of the same. Booker shot himself out of an early cold spell en route to 14 points. Those points, thanks to four 3-pointers and a pair of free throws, came in the first half. Booker, an Augusta native, has now posted four consecutive games in double figures.
The Bulldogs knew coming in that Booker would be a threat from long range. Still, they let him shoot early and often. And his first-half 3-point spree proved pivotal.
Giving the ball away
Fox's teams have historically not been great with protecting the basketball.
Against a good defensively coached team like South Carolina (15-13, 6-9), that became a problem once again. Georgia turned the ball over 17 times in the loss. And this was a problem that began early on in this game.
Five of Georgia's first seven turnovers were traveling calls. Conversely, the Gamecocks only turned the ball over five times during the game.
Other than the 3-ball...
While South Carolina made 13 of its 31 3-point attempts, it otherwise shot the ball poorly for the second time against the Bulldogs.
It's a remarkable thing to win a game while shooting only 30.9 percent from the field, but that's what the Gamecocks were able to accomplish Wednesday. Thing is, this is the second time this season South Carolina put in a poor overall shooting night and defeated the Bulldogs.
In the first game against Georgia on Jan. 13, South Carolina won 64-57 while shooting only 27 percent from the field. In total, South Carolina swept Georgia while shooting a combined 29 percent in both games.
Back off the bubble
Georgia clawed its way into the back end of the NCAA Tournament conversation with two wins last week. Losing a second time to South Carolina, will move the Bulldogs back off.
Georgia, however, isn't completely dead yet. It will have games against LSU, Texas A&M and Tennessee to close the regular season. Fortunately for Georgia, all three are considered quality opponents and serve as chances to help its postseason case.