The Georgia Bulldogs have been incredible at home this year, with an 11-2 record. They looked to continue that dominance against the Ole Miss Rebels in Athens on Saturday. The Dawgs have had a bad habit this season of coming out slow in the first half. This game was no different when they only scored 23 points in the first period, and they trailed Ole Miss by 5 points at the break. The good news is that the Dawgs have also been a high-octane second half team this season.
The Bulldogs love games where they can get physical, win the rebounding battle, and go to the free-throw line. Against Ole Miss, Georgia showed a lot of poise with good ball movement, and they made sure to take balls inside for buckets or fouls. The Dawgs out-rebounded Ole Miss 49-34, and they went 19-27 from the charity stripe. In most of Georgia’s big wins this year, you would notice that free throw shooting has been a huge difference maker, especially for players like Charles Mann who really drive to the hoop.
I would be lying if I said Georgia shot well in this game. With the kind of shooting performance they had, 33% from the floor, they probably should have lost to a more talented squad. Let’s be fair, Ole Miss isn’t that talented with exception of Marshall Henderson. Without him, Ole Miss wouldn’t have been close in this game. Henderson had 24 points, 5 3-pointers, and he got a key foul call in the last 2 minutes on a questionable flagrant elbow. Georgia also had its own high-scorer with Kenny Gaines scoring 21 points, 5 3-pointers, and 2 blocks.
The game came down to the wire, both teams tied at 57 with a minute to go. After a missed shot by Djurisic, Georgia got the rebound and kicked it out to Kenny Gaines, who buried a key three. Up 60-57, Georgia did everything they could to keep the ball away from Henderson, which allowed Jarvis Summers to get a bucket and a foul to tie the game back at 60. That left 33 seconds, the ball in Georgia’s hands, and the shot clock off. Who do you want with the ball? Player of the game Charles Mann, that’s who. He waited until the last 1.5 seconds to get his man in the air, then jumped into him to get the foul. He missed his first three throw, putting extreme pressure on himself, but he nailed the follow-up. That would be the game winner 61-60 in a wild finish, and Georgia’s fourth consecutive SEC victory.