A big part of Georgia's strategy on offense is to feed the low post.
In doing so, the Bulldogs tend to come away with quite a few free-throw opportunities each game. This season, Georgia is one of seven SEC teams to attempt over 600 free throws, with the Bulldogs putting up an average of 23.4 per game.
And for the most part all year, Georgia's made teams pay at the line. The Bulldogs are shooting 74.7 percent from the free-throw line as a team, which came into play during Tuesday's 79-72 win over Mississippi State.
Georgia went 28-of-32 shooting from the free-throw line against Mississippi State, with junior forward Yante Maten converting on 12 of his 13 attempts.
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"We actually have worked hard on our free-throw shooting," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "It’s a real fundamental skill we, for the most part, have been able to execute. Maybe there was one game this year it cost us dearly. It is, for us, it’s an advantage. I think we are a good free-throw shooting team. Hopefully that’s something we can continue to do."
In the first half of Tuesday's game, Mississippi State made six 3-pointers but only held a four-point lead at the break.
A big part of that was due to Georgia's success in getting to the free-throw line and converting the opportunities. Georgia was able to combat Mississippi State's early shooting with 12 made free throws. That mattered even more considering Mississippi State didn't take a free throw in the entire first half.
"When they’re shooting tons of 3s, you want to be able to counter that with great 2-point looks and free throws," Fox said. "And (Tuesday), we did that. I was very disappointed with our defense in the first half. They shot it well, and give them credit for making shots, I can’t remember guys being that open in a while. Our 3-point defense has been inconsistent and it wasn’t where it needed to be in the first half. It is important when they’re doing that to answer with some good shots and some free throws."
Georgia guard Juwan Parker made all eight of his free throws against Mississippi State. He said it's an area Fox has emphasized since it certainly can make a difference in offsetting other areas.
"Free throws are free so you go up there with confidence to knock them down," Parker said.