UGA Basketball

Behind Frazier's shooting and strong interior defense, Georgia shuts down Ole Miss

Yante Maten forces a loose ball from Marcanvis Hymon during Georgia’s win at Mississippi.
Yante Maten forces a loose ball from Marcanvis Hymon during Georgia’s win at Mississippi. AP

J.J. Frazier had been uncharacteristically cold from the 3-point line to start the season.

Perhaps Wednesday’s performance at Mississippi will spark Frazier in this area of his game. In Georgia’s 69-47 win over Ole Miss, Frazier hit three 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Frazier hit the first two 3-pointers he put up, with one of those being a pull-up jumper in transition.

The Bulldogs (11-5, 3-1 SEC) trailed 9-8 in the first half before going on a 9-0 run to put themselves ahead 17-9. Georgia then closed the first half with an 11-2 run, which included five points from Frazier.

Mississippi (10-6, 1-3) entered the game having lost two of its last three, albeit to ranked SEC programs Kentucky and Florida. But after scoring a road win over Auburn, the Rebels fell back into the losing column with a poor shooting performance.

Throughout the night, Georgia mixed and matched defenses, switching between man-to-man and a 2-3 zone. When the Bulldogs were in a zone, it became tough for Mississippi’s big men to score near the rim.

Three who mattered

Frazier: Frazier scored his 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field. Frazier added three rebounds, two assists and made all four of his free-throw attempts.

Georgia forward Yante Maten: Maten once again posted a double-double, notching 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was tough for Maten at times, however, as the Rebels did a good job defending him in the post.

Georgia forward Derek Ogbeide: Ogbeide was a force for the Mississippi big men to deal with, particularly Sebastian Saiz. Saiz came into the game averaging 15.6 points per game and was held to 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Turning point

Georgia’s second-half lead was cut to eight and Mississippi’s Breein Tyree went to the free-throw line to shoot two at the 11:21 mark. Tyree missed both attempts, with Georgia forward Houston Kessler putting in a layup on the other end. During this sequence, guard Jordan Harris had two blocked shots and a drive to the hoop, which turned out to be the biggest sequence of the game for Georgia.

Observations

Combating the 1-3-1: Mississippi played a 1-3-1 zone defense for most of the game, with hopes of trapping the Bulldogs and turning them over. Georgia has been a high-turnover team, entering this game averaging 14 per contest. But while the Bulldogs turned the ball over 14 times Wednesday, they never seemed too discombobulated against the pesky zone. The lone issue Georgia seemed to have was finding passing lanes inside. The Rebels would wind up switching to a 2-3 later in the second half with the 1-3-1 not working the way they wanted it to.

Georgia’s defense shines: The Bulldogs haven’t been much of a defensive team this season. But Georgia had one of its better performances on that side of the floor on the road in conference play. Georgia recorded seven blocked shots and held the Rebels to 27-percent shooting from the field. As it has under head coach Mark Fox, Georgia switched defenses frequently, playing man-to-man and a 2-3 zone. Fox was critical of Georgia’s man defense against Missouri, and it appeared up to the challenge against Ole Miss.

Worth mentioning

Burnett injured: Mississippi suffered a huge blow with Deandre Burnett leaving the game late in the first half due to a high ankle sprain. Burnett entered the game as Mississippi’s leading scorer at 19 points per game. Burnett was held to three points on 1-of-6 shooting.

Frazier also injured: Frazier sustained an injury with less than four minutes to play in the game after a hard fall following a layup attempt. Frazier was about to check back into the game, but didn’t once the Bulldogs made a final run to put the game away. Fox said he’ll be fine.

Making them count: Georgia had a subpar performance at the free-throw line against Missouri and rebounded well against Mississippi. The Bulldogs made 22 of their 25 free-throw attempts. Conversely, the Rebels were dreadful from the line, converting only 17 of their 32 chances.

They said it

Fox on Frazier’s shooting: “He hasn’t shot it well this year. I knew he would shoot it well (Wednesday). I just knew he would shoot it well (Wednesday). He did some things, we did some work the last couple of days. I was really confident that if he got a good look at the basket that it was going back in.”

Maten on Georgia keeping Saiz, who had 11 points, under his season average of 15.6: “We just tried their physicality with the bigs. They’re pretty physical down low. They don’t let up or give them any ground.”

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy on his team’s performance: “We’ve shown one thing. We’re going to turn it over. I try to be transparent. That’s my fault. I can’t imagine guys that can’t dribble, pass, and shoot at this level. Some of the things we do with the ball I’ve never seen before in my 10 years of coaching. We’re going to turn it over, so we have to outrebound people. For some reason, maybe because the competition has gotten better, we’re not rebounding.”

What's next?

Georgia stays on the road and travels to Florida Saturday for a noon tip against the Gators.

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