On Saturday afternoon, the Georgia Bulldogs welcomed the Florida A&M Rattlers to Stegeman Coliseum with the intention of continuing their recent run of success against non-conference opposition. The relative good times continued to roll as the Red and Black claimed an 82-73 victory in an offensive outburst.
Georgia dominated the first half. In the opening 20 minutes, the Bulldogs hit better than 50 per cent of their shots from the field (17 of 32), including seven of eleven from beyond the arc (63.6%), while draining eight of twelve from the charity stripe. The Red and Black led the visitors in bench points (27-17), points in the paint (18-10), and rebounds (22-19) in the course of building up a 49-36 halftime lead.
The Fox Hounds began the game on an 8-0 run in the first four and a half minutes before a pair of FAMU treys cut the home team’s lead to two points. Sherrard Brantley and Vincent Williams answered with a trio of three-pointers to make the margin 17-9 with twelve and a half minutes remaining until intermission. Again the Rattlers made shots from downtown to pull within two points, but the guests could draw no nearer as a 20-4 Georgia run capped off by a Nemanja Djurisic three-pointer moved the Bulldogs out in front, 42-24, with four minutes remaining.
A myriad of misses typified the initial four minutes of the second half before Florida A&M’s Muhammad Abdul-Aleem cut the Classic City Canines’ lead to 53-45 with a jumper and a layup in a 43-second span. Subsequent free throws made by Onyekachukwu Odi narrowed the gap to six points with just under 13 minutes left to play. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Donte` Williams extended the Bulldogs’ edge to twelve with a tip shot, a dunk, and a layup as the clock ticked down to eleven minutes.
The Rattlers responded, but Djurisic and Charles Mann countered with a scoring flurry of their own to provide a 66-55 Red and Black advantage inside the eight-minute mark. Tim Dixon knocked down a pair of free throws with four and a half minutes to go to bump the Bulldogs’ edge to 14 points, then a Djurisic three-pointer with 1:59 on the clock sealed the deal.
Djurisic led all scorers with 21 points, while Caldwell-Pope contributed eleven points and nine rebounds. Over the course of the contest, the Athenians drained nearly three-fourths of their free throws (22 of 30) and connected on half of their shots from beyond the arc (8 of 16). Georgia will carry a three-game winning streak into its final non-conference outing next week.