Coming off a beat down in Gainesville, the Georgia Bulldogs faced off against a high-scoring Arkansas Razorbacks team in Athens on Saturday afternoon. The Razorbacks were obviously still enjoying the emotional high of their OT win against Kentucky earlier in the week, and the Bulldogs were hoping to take advantage of an Arkansas team that could be prime for a road let-down.
Georgia made it clear from the outset of the first half that they were the more physical team at home. UGA pulled down 15 offensive rebounds in the first half of the game, but still trailed 29-28 going into the locker room. The main problem was the continued shooting woes that carried over from the Florida loss. UGA only shot 29% from the field in the first half, and an astoundingly low 1-9 from the 3-point arc. At some point, Coach Fox is going to have to address the 3-point problems, because coming into this matchup the Dawgs were 9th in the conference and 214th in the nation in 3-point percentage. If the Razorbacks hadn’t been so lackluster on rebounds, they easily could have run the Dawgs out of their own building in the first twenty minutes.
Frankly, fans of solid offensive basketball should have averted their eyes for much of the second half. Both teams decided to put on what can only be described as a disgraceful shooting display. During that half, Arkansas went seven minutes straight without scoring a single point. Georgia only had 2 buckets from the field in the first ten and a half minutes. Mark Fox was likely scanning the stands for potential jump shooters at the halfway point, offering a scholarship to anyone that had a pull-up jump shot. Luckily, Arkansas couldn’t hit the broad side of a warship either, so the game went to OT tied at 52.
In overtime, Georgia pulled away quickly with strong defense and some great shots by Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann, who combined for a total of 24 points. Meanwhile, Arkansas only made 3 field goals in over 20 consecutive minutes of clock time, including OT. The word “collapse” doesn’t seem adequate to describe how ugly Arkansas played down the stretch. They should be completely embarrassed by this game, and Georgia should feel euphoric that they scraped out a win shooting barely 31% from the floor.
In the aftermath, this was a good game only because the Dawgs collected a win 66-61. Just burn the game film and put a notch in the W column.