Following Georgia’s loss to Kentucky, J.J. Frazier criticized himself and apologized to his teammates for not being clutch enough with the game on the line. Considering how well he played then, he probably didn't need to.
But against Alabama, Frazier made sure he wouldn't have to do the same in consecutive games.
Frazier was Georgia’s go-to scorer throughout the game, posting a game-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Whether it was a floater, a 3-pointer or tough take to the rim, Frazier’s shots continued to fall.
It marked the third time in four games that Frazier scored 28 or more points. In a close win at Tennessee, Frazier scored 29. In the Kentucky defeat, Frazier dropped a season-high 36.
This time, however, Georgia didn’t have junior forward Yante Maten available due to his severely sprained right knee.
Frazier was still able to do his work while being the focus of attention during the 37 minutes head coach Mark Fox had him on the floor.
“As a team we made big plays defensively,” Frazier said. “Offensively, I got space and Coach called the right plays and I made some shots.”
Frazier’s resolve came through in a major way. Every time Alabama made a run it seemed Frazier was either scoring a bucket or facilitating points.
When Alabama forward Braxton Key tipped in a bucket to cut Georgia’s lead to 48-47 in the second half, it was Frazier who hit a jumper to put the Bulldogs up by three with 8:40 left to play.
Not too long after, guard Dazon Ingram scored two of his own to make it a one-point game again. But Frazier once again sank a jumper to put Georgia up 52-49. Up 52-51, Frazier thwarted a fast-break attempt with a steal from behind, which he then took the other way, while speeding past everyone else in front of him on the court, for a layup.
Frazier's biggest score came with 1:32 left to play, when Frazier drove left and scooped the ball through the hoop off the backboard to put Georgia up 56-53. With Key making two free throws on Alabama’s ensuing possession, it was Frazier who then drew a foul of his own to match two of his own from the line.
“He’s got a big competitive heart and it certainly came through,” Fox said.
Said Georgia guard Juwan Parker: “He’s been making plays like that for two years now. It’s what you come to expect with him now. He’s a great player.”
Frazier scored nine of Georgia’s final 10 points of the game, with four of those possessions putting the Bulldogs back up by three points.
“J.J. is a really good player. He had 28 tonight, (36) against Kentucky,” Key said. “He’s playing hot as of late. You got to give him and his team a lot of credit.”
Last year at this time, Frazier put Georgia on his back to make a late run at getting into the NCAA Tournament conversation.
He’s looking to do the same now as Georgia has won three of its past four games with the lone loss coming in a close one against Kentucky.
“I feel like every game will go our way,” Frazier said. “Like I said a couple of weeks ago, we have to make it go our way. We can’t hope and pray it goes our way.”