(Author’s Note: Obviously, this ill-informed roundball wrapup was not instantaneous. I spent the afternoon visiting with family for Christmas, so, needless to say, that took precedence over drafting a recap of this afternoon’s basketball action.)
The Georgia Bulldogs never trailed against the overmatched Arkansas St. Red Wolves, building up a 21-point second-half lead on the way to a 68-59 victory at home.
The two teams combined to go just two for 16 from beyond the arc in the first half, but the Hoop Dogs nevertheless managed to build up a 36-27 edge at the break by limiting the visitors to ten of 29 shooting from the field. Playing from behind, the Red Wolves hit six of their eleven three-point shots after intermission, but the Bulldogs sunk eight of twelve free throws in the second half to maintain at the buzzer the same nine-point advantage they had held after 20 minutes of play.
Trey Thompkins contributed 32 minutes and 15 points, both team highs, while blocking two shots, pulling down seven rebounds, and going three for four from the charity stripe. Travis Leslie added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Arkansas State matched Georgia point for point in the second half, and each club notched a half-dozen points off the fast break. The Bulldogs likewise held only slight leads in points off turnovers (15-14) and bench points (18-16). Where the home team was most dominant were in the areas of points in the paint (32-20) and second-chance points (14-8).
Georgia was the better team, and the result was what it should have been. There is only so much that can be read into a win like this over an opponent like that, but the Bulldogs did what they were supposed to do and appear to be working on fixing what ails them as they prepare for their SEC slate. So far, so good.