Normally this is where you would get incisive, statistically-supported analysis of the latest Georgia Bulldog basketball victory from our resident roundball raconteur, Kris Aloysius* Willis. Unfortunately, Kris isn't with us tonight because he's touring with the Stones**, so you get me instead.
And if all Bulldog basketball games went like this one, I'd gladly wrap them all up in flowing prose. Georgia not only won but for the first time in recent memory was never really even in danger in picking up a conference victory (the Hoop Hounds never trailed after the 17:00 mark of the first half). It was the most points the Hoop Hounds have scored in SEC play. Nema Djurisic continued his strong season by setting a new career scoring mark with 22 points, going a perfect 6/6 from the field including 3/3 from beyond the arc.
If there's a downside it's that the 'Dawgs shot below 50% on free throws in the second half, though to be fair that may have just been sheer exhaustion. The game featured a mind-boggling 59 total fouls and a literally obscene 86 free throws. Partially as a result of this charitable bounty of charity stripe attempts the 'Dawgs placed five players in double figures, a season high (heck, maybe a high for the Fox era). Nema led the way as noted above, but Kenny Gaines, Marcus Thornton, Brandon Morris, and Charles Mann also reached double digits. On the whole Georgia shot the ball well (27/49 from the field, 55%), rebounded the ball well (snagging a 39/27 advantage on the boards) and even eked out a slim margin in their perennial hobgoblin of stats, the turnover battle (15/14).
It was the seventh Bulldog victory over the Gamecocks in their last eight meetings, which is impressive for the simple reason that prolonged dominance of anyone by the Hoop Hounds, much less an actual SEC divisional opponent, is so rare.
The Hoop Hounds move to 10-7 overall and 4-1 in the SEC, which is frankly hard to explain and makes me vaguely nervous. I'm not booking Final Four hotels or anything, but I think it's safe to say that no team has overachieved so far in conference play quite like the Bulldogs. Next up is a Saturday date with the conference leading Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena. I don't hold out a lot of hope in that one. But if the 'Dawgs do pull it off it could be the type of signature win they need to have (and I can't believe I'm even typing it . . .somebody stop me . . .) if they want to be in the running for an incredibly improbable NCAA tournament berth (okay, I said it). Until later . . .
*Not Kris's actual middle name. Pretty sure that's Prufrock.
**Not actually touring with the Stones. He's opening for Janelle Monae. Dude's glockenspiel game is fierce.