Another home victory!
This was our lone remaining “gimme” against the dregs of the SEC, making it easily our best chance to stave off a free fall to close the season. It was ugly early, but our defensive effort (and some timely shooting) erased a twelve point deficit to keep us afloat at .500 in SEC play.
Texas A&M Basketball was not ready to play, starting 2-9 from the field and allowing multiple easy buckets en route to an early 11-4 deficit. We responded well and kept the game close through the middle portion of the half, but the Bulldogs pulled away with a 17-7 surge to push the lead to a dozen.
A late Savion Flagg three cut the deficit to nine at the break, but Georgia’s shooting (50% from the field) and rebounding (21-10 advantage) had things looking pretty dang bleak.
Halftime Score: Georgia 38, Texas A&M 29
Let he who has not switched shirts for karma cast the first stone.
The Aggies looked unstoppable in Buzz’s new threads, firing a white-hot (for us) 5-8 from the field and holding Georgia to one bucket in the opening five minutes. The Bulldogs did stabilize, however, and the middle portion of the half stayed within 1-2 possessions in both directions... leading to a 59-59 score with 4:32 remaining.
And then our defense carried the day.
Georgia just never settled into an offensive set down the stretch, and we used turnovers to create the majority of our buckets to close this one out. There were times where we forced the issue in transition... but it always seemed to work! And I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Final Score: Texas A&M 74, Georgia 69
- I can’t start anywhere else — Emanuel Miller was incredible. Miller had a career-high 21 points (17 in the 2nd half) and a game-high 10 rebounds. He looked great in our recent loss to Florida, as well, and he’d certainly have my vote for SEC Freshman of the Week.
- The turnover statistics looked great in both directions on Saturday. We forced 21 turnovers, our highest number in over four years, and we scored 24 points off turnovers in the second half. On the flip side, our 14-11 assist-to-turnover ratio led to our third best turnover rate (16.2%) this season.
- Anthony Edwards was the bane of our existence in our recent loss in Athens, and we held him to six points on 2-of-7 shooting. Emanuel Miller was the best freshman on the court Saturday.
- The APB for Savion Flagg (11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) can be quietly retired, as his shooting slump appears to be over. He had double digits in both games this week.
- Texas A&M is now 5-1 in our last six against Georgia.
I’ll admit it. At halftime, I thought the wheels were about to come off.
We had been blown out in our last two games, and we were down nine in our easiest game remaining. The fact pattern... it didn’t look great. I saw our season play out in that moment, and it was a story told with a fun mid-season resurgence that was ultimately spoiled by ugly results.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
The remaining schedule is still challenging, but now we’re working with some positive momentum. Next up is a quick trip to Tuscaloosa before two more at Reed Arena.