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California Golden Bears 70, Georgia Bulldogs 46: The Instantaneous Ill-Informed Roundball Wrapup

Facing the season’s first meaningful challenge in the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mark Fox’s young Georgia Bulldogs showed much early promise but ultimately could not stay with the 20th-ranked California Golden Bears, who dominated the second half to cruise to an easy 70-46 victory.

Solid defensive rebounding and physical play permitted the Hoop Hounds to hang with the Golden Bears for the first 15 minutes of the first half; with five minutes and five seconds remaining until intermission, Georgia still held a 25-24 lead in what had been a back-and-forth battle to that point. After that, though, it was all Cal.

The Bears, who had outscored their first three opponents by a combined 230-165 margin, dominated the boards (35-25) and shot at a blistering pace from the field (25 of 48, 52.1%), from three-point range (6 of 11, 54.5%), and at the free throw line (14 of 18, 77.8%). The Athenians performed poorly in all three areas, draining just 19 of 57 two-pointers (33.3%), four of 19 from beyond the arc (21.1%), and four of seven from the charity stripe (57.1%). Unable to penetrate inside against a Pac-12 defense that matched up well man-for-man with the SEC squad, the Classic City Canines were forced to rely upon desperation heaves from three-point range, with predictable results as the Bears systematically extended their commanding second-half lead with fundamentally sound play.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope emerged from the frustrating outing with ten points to his credit, while Nemanja Djurisic provided nine. The Fox Hounds will play a consolation game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on ESPNU at 7:45 p.m. Eastern Tuesday night. Last Thanksgiving, Georgia fell to Notre Dame in double overtime in the Old Spice Classic.

Go ‘Dawgs!