J.J. Frazier wasn’t going to let his team lose.
Frazier put in a second consecutive magnificent performance, although this time in a victory the Bulldogs were able to close out. Frazier scored 28 points in Georgia’s 60-55 win over Alabama at Coleman Coliseum. After breaking a 2-2 tie at the 18:25 mark of the first half, the Bulldogs held a lead throughout the rest of the game.
Georgia led by as many as 14 in the first half, with the Crimson Tide cutting the lead and making quite the game out of it. But Alabama could never get closer than a one-point deficit. Frazier’s biggest play of the game came with Georgia leading 54-53 with less than two minutes to play. Frazier dribbled the ball in the lane before taking it back out to reset the play.
Frazier then dribbled left and scooped in a layup to put Georgia up by three with 1:32 left to play in the game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Telegraph
The win gives Georgia (16-12, 7-8 SEC) a needed win that keeps its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Alabama (16-11, 9-6) entered the game very much on the tournament bubble, with this loss certainly putting a dent in its own tournament hopes.
This proved to be a revenge game for Georgia, as well, as Alabama defeated the Bulldogs 80-60 at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 25.
This also marked the first time Georgia played in a game this season without forward Yante Maten, who is out for the rest of the regular season with a severely sprained knee.
Three who mattered
Frazier: It’s clear that Georgia is going to rely mostly on Frazier down the stretch with forward Yante Maten out for the remainder of the regular season. Frazier finished Thursday’s game with 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
Georgia forward Derek Ogbeide: While Alabama outrebounded Georgia as a whole, Ogbeide did his part by bringing down nine rebounds. Ogbeide also scored seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Alabama guard Ar’Mond Davis: Davis entered Thursday’s game averaging 6.3 points per game off of the bench. He played like a superstar against Georgia, scoring 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting. He connected on three of his nine 3-point attempts.
Frazier's left-handed layup with 1:32 left to go in the game proved to be the difference maker.
Missing Maten: Georgia was still able to get good scoring without Maten. But where Georgia missed him the most was his ability to rebound the basketball. Alabama absolutely controlled this facet of the game by beating the Bulldogs in this statistical category 42-30. Seventeen of Alabama’s 42 rebounds were on the offensive end, which earned the Crimson Tide 17 second-chance points.
Not as hot from 3: In the first meeting between these two teams, Alabama caught fire from behind the 3-point line by making 60 percent of its attempts. This time, the Crimson Tide sank only 17.4 percent of its 3-point attempts, which came on 4-of-23 shooting. Georgia defended the 3-point shot better but also caught a glimpse of the kind of shooting team Alabama really is.
Crump’s contributions: Georgia guard Tyree Crump only played two minutes in the first half. But midway through the second half, Crump made his case to play more minutes. At the 10:32 mark, Crump dribbled to the top of the key and pulled up to sink a 3-pointer. Moments later at the 10-minute mark, Crump dribbled around a ball screen and swished another 3. Crump’s game ended with six points on 2-of-3 shooting. He played nine minutes.
Unusual way to lose: Before Thursday, Alabama was 11-0 in games where the opposing team scored 60 points or less. Georgia’s 60-55 win marked the first time all year Alabama lost a game with the opponent scoring this amount. In fact, the last time Alabama and Georgia played, the Bulldogs scored the same amount in an 80-60 Crimson Tide victory.
Frazier on holding Alabama from taking a lead despite its second-half push: “We knew they were going to make a run. They have a really good team and they have a really good coach. At home, you’re going to make runs. You have to minimize them as much as possible.”
Georgia guard Juwan Parker on the lineup changes with Maten out: “Coach had a good game-plan for us and put guys in the right position, the best position to play how we play.”
Alabama forward Braxton Key on not getting past a one-point deficit in the second-half: “A lot of times we got within one, or two and three. We just couldn’t get that one extra stop we needed. We were scoring but they were scoring as well. You’re not going to win a game if the other team is scoring.”
Georgia hosts LSU at 6 p.m. on Saturday.