Bulldogs Beat

Georgia snaps three-game losing streak, defeats Mississippi

Jason Butt

jbutt@macon.com

Georgia guard Kenny Gaines (12) and the Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a win over Mississippi.
Georgia guard Kenny Gaines (12) and the Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a win over Mississippi.

Thanks to some hot shooting, Georgia was able to get back in the win column.

The Bulldogs shot 45 percent from the field and put away Mississippi late in the second half with an 80-66 victory Saturday. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Georgia.

Georgia (15-12, 8-8 SEC) got big performances from guards J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines. Frazier scored 26 points and Gaines added 23.

Mississippi (18-11, 8-8) had a hard time containing Georgia’s offense, which put on one of its better performances of the season.

THREE WHO MATTERED

Frazier: Frazier showed his heart and hustle down the stretch of this game to prevent Mississippi from putting a comeback together. Frazier hit two clutch 3-pointers to give Georgia a double-digit lead with less than five minutes left to play. Frazier finished the game with 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

Gaines: Gaines started hot and helped pace the Bulldogs throughout the game. He scored his 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting. More important than his stellar day shooting the basketball was his defense. He helped limit Stefan Moody to 15 points for the game.

Yante Maten: Maten scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and proved tough for Mississippi’s big men to deal with down low. Maten added 10 rebounds and made all five of his free-throw attempts. 

TURNING POINT

With more than six minutes to go in the game, Mike Edwards caught a pass under the basket and threw it out to Gaines. Gaines then distributed the ball to J.J. Frazier, who hit a wide-open 3-pointer. The play helped extend Georgia’s lead to nine, which it built upon down the stretch.

OBSERVATIONS

Long range: Both teams were feeling it from long distance. The Bulldogs finished the game 10-of-21 from behind the arc and the Rebels were 11-of-24. Gaines hit four of his first six 3-point attempts to give him 12 first-half points. Ole Miss made five of its first six 3-point attempts to start the second half.

Limited turnovers: Georgia only committed seven turnovers to Mississippi’s 14. On top of that, the Bulldogs made the most of their opportunities by scoring 22 points when Ole Miss turned the ball over. With Georgia limiting its own turnovers, Mississippi only scored two points in this statistic.

WORTH MENTIONING

Three with more than 30 minutes: Georgia had three players go over 30 minutes in this game. Maten played 31 minutes, Fraizer played 37 minutes and Gaines went a team-high 38 minutes.

Almost three with more than 20 points: With Maten scoring 19 points, he was one point shy of Georgia having three players post 20 or more points in a single game. The last time the Bulldogs did this was on Nov. 25, 2003, with Rashad Wright (25), Damien Wilkins (24) and Jonas Hayes (20) accomplishing this feat.

Gaines moves up: With his 23 points, Gaines moved passed Ray Harrison to be Georgia’s 24th all-time scorer with 1,241 career points.

THEY SAID IT

Georgia head coach Mark Fox on snapping the three-game losing streak: “The previous couple games have been difficult, and our spirit was down because I think they felt like their bubble burst, and maybe it had. But I think adversity is good in life. I think it’s one of the greatest things that young people can experience in athletics.”

Gaines on Georgia coming back in the second half: “We’ve been in a close situation so many times that I feel like we’ve learned from it by now. We kind of know how to manage possessions both offensively and defensively when tides might change, but we are learning, still growing and still getting better.”

Frazier on Georgia’s offensive performance: “There’s nothing going through my mind when I start going like that. I’m just playing and I use my emotions. Kenny was doing a lot of scoring by himself early on and I told him that Yante and I were going to help him. He was carrying a load, defensively guarding Moody, and coming back and leading us offensively. I just wanted to take some pressure off of him.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

Georgia travels to South Carolina on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip.

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