Following an 0-4 run through the Legends Classic during which Mark Fox’s club simply could not close the deal against any level of competition, the Georgia Bulldogs returned home for a non-conference date against the East Tennessee St. Buccaneers earlier this evening. The Classic City Canines emerged victorious, taking down visiting ETSU, 54-38.
The Red and Black leapt out to a 6-0 lead in the opening two minutes, but the Buccaneers used three-pointers to take an 11-10 advantage with a little over a dozen minutes remaining in the first half. The Hoop Dogs proceeded to go on a 15-0 run over the course of the next eight minutes, enabling them to head to halftime holding a 31-13 edge.
The Athenians did not attempt a free throw in the initial 20 minutes, but Georgia hit two-thirds of its shots from the field (14 of 21), including half of the Bulldogs’ attempts from beyond the arc (3 of 6). The shorthanded Buccaneers poured in only four of 23 from the field in the first half, but the disparity between the two teams was most evident in the paint, where Georgia outscored the visitors, 18-2, and out-rebounded the Bucs, 16-10. The Bulldogs’ dozen assists and four blocks rounded out a solid first half during which the Fox Hounds played their game.
Of course, the inevitable run occurred, as ETSU outscored the home team, 25-23, thanks to an equal number of second-half points in the paint (10-10) and a greater number of Georgia turnovers (9-5) in the final 20 minutes. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Red and Black with 13 points in a game that followed a familiar (and disconcerting) pattern, but nevertheless yielded a long-overdue win.