The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to a packed Bud Walton Arena on Saturday to clash with the Arkansas Razorbacks. The atmosphere in the arena was electric as the Hogs tried to secure their bid to the NCAA tournament, and the Dawgs tried to run the table in the hopes the committee would give them the nod. With both teams coming off big wins, the fans could expect some highlight reel play, and they were not disappointed.
The first half was a hard-fought, high-scoring affair that saw both teams tied at 35 with about 3 minutes left to play. Unfortunately for Georgia, Arkansas made the most of those final three minutes by scoring 9 points and extending their halftime lead to 44-37. The Dawgs shot extremely well in the first half, but they were plagued yet again by turnovers. Eight turnovers in that first period really helped Arkansas open up their lead, since the Hogs were shooting well over 50% from the floor.
The second half started poorly for the Dawgs as they only made two shots from the field in the first 5 minutes. That continued drought of offense let Arkansas extend their lead to as much as 15 before the Dawgs finally stopped the bleeding, and made a shot. Georgia didn’t play a bad game, as they shot 42% from the floor, but they just couldn’t match the offensive intensity of Arkansas at home. The Razorbacks bench players were the difference makers, as they outscored the Georgia bench 28-18. Kenny Gaines had a great scoring day with 25 points, Marcus Thornton had 13, and Brandon Morris had 11. Those three players really stepped up, but it wasn’t enough to stop an Arkansas team from tying their best score in conference play.
With that loss, you can virtually close the book on the Dawgs getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. They will have to go to Atlanta and win the SEC conference tournament to secure their spot. It’s the exact all-or-nothing position that no team wants to be in at season’s close. However, for those that remember 2008, UGA has the potential to make a run. We also know that this team can really put up points and outrebound almost any team in the SEC. We’re going to find out shortly if they can put it all together in the Georgia Dome.