Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs looked to build on their recent momentum on Friday night, when the Red and Black welcomed the George Washington Colonials to Stegeman Coliseum for their final non-conference outing prior to the start of SEC play. In a game riddled with turnovers, poor free throw shooting, and about every other affront to basketball you can imagine, the Classic City Canines ran their winning streak to four games with a 52-41 victory.
An offensive outpouring it was not; five and half minutes into the first half, the score was knotted at six points per side, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s subsequent layup gave the Fox Hounds a two-point lead that endured for more than a minute and a half before Nemanja Djurisic followed up a missed jumper with a made trey to stake the Red and Black to an 11-6 advantage.
The Colonials slowly chipped away at the Bulldogs’ lead, finally knotting the score at 15 apiece with six and a half minutes remaining until intermission. Neither squad tallied a point in the final two and a half minutes of the first half, during which Georgia missed four shots, turned the ball over twice, and committed a foul, so George Washington headed to the locker room ahead by a 21-18 margin.
The Athenians snarled the score 30 seconds into the second half on a John Florveus steal and a Vincent Williams three-pointer, but the visitors reclaimed the lead on a jump shot and a free throw by Patricio Garino. Georgia pulled within a point of George Washington, only to have the score stay that way for two minutes as the Classic City Canines missed a three-pointer, committed a foul, and turned the ball over twice.
The Hoop Dogs did not reclaim the lead until Caldwell-Pope slammed home a dunk as the clock approached the 14-minute mark. Sherrard Brantley thereafter knocked one down from beyond the arc, and the Red and Black led, 32-28. George Washington surged back, at least to the extent that a 7-2 run over a three-and-a-half-minute stretch fairly might be classified as a “surge,” and took a 35-34 edge ere Charles Mann tied the game with a free throw and put the Bulldogs back out in front with a layup.
A minute later, the Colonials knotted the score anew. A minute after that, Florveus reclaimed the lead for the Bulldogs with a layup. A minute after that, Djurisic dropped in a layup to make the score 41-37. Two minutes after that, Isaiah Armwood made the bucket that cut the home team’s lead to two. The next two and a half minutes saw a flurry of Georgia scoring, relatively speaking, as the Athenians went on a 5-0 run to seal the deal. Fouls and free throws in the final 65 seconds gave us the final margin.
Caldwell-Pope and Djurisic put up 17 points apiece in a game in which Georgia hit ten of 17 shots from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs went four of twelve from beyond the arc and turned the ball over more than 20 times. Meanwhile, George Washington’s Nemanja Mikic contributed 16 minutes without registering an assist, a block, a point, a rebound, or a steal, which isn’t terribly noteworthy, but I just wanted to mention the fact that this game featured two dudes named “Nemanja,” because, really, how often do you see that?