The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Rupp Arena on Saturday to play the Kentucky Wildcats without one of their best players, Kenny Gaines. As a result, the Dawgs had trouble getting any offensive momentum, and Kentucky dominated the outside shooting game all day long. The Bulldogs knew they were in for a tough matchup in Kentucky, but they had no idea how fast the game would get out of hand.
Charles Mann went 0-5 in the first half, marking another low moment in his up-and-down season. It’s a shame because with Gaines out, the Dawgs needed Mann to step up, take over and be a difference-maker, but he wasn’t up to the task. In fact, Mann played one of his worst games of the year, going 1-9 from the field, 7-15 from the charity stripe, and committing 5 turnovers. The player that kept UGA from getting run out of the building in the first half was Brandon Morris, scoring 12 of the Dawgs 22 points before halftime. The only positive thing that UGA could take from the first half is that they out-rebounded a very long Kentucky squad 17-15.
Turnovers continue to plague Georgia, especially against ranked teams. The Dawgs had 20 turnovers for the game, which won’t win many contests in the SEC. Meanwhile, Kentucky shot 50% from the floor on their way to a dominating score of 79-54. The player of the game was Julius Randle for Kentucky with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and a block. He was not going to be denied near the rim, and UGA couldn’t figure out how to stop him other than fouling.
The game, unfortunately, played out as expected with Georgia struggling to make baskets (32% FG), and Kentucky playing hard on the glass with 11 blocks. Georgia will have to lick its wounds before heading back to Athens to take on a struggling Vanderbilt squad on the 29th. Hopefully, the Dawgs can rebound quickly and snatch another SEC win at home.