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Georgia drops 3rd straight with 78-61 loss to Auburn

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Free fall continues for Bulldogs

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Yante Maten scored 20 points but it wasn’t enough for Georgia who dropped its third straight game 78-61 to Auburn.

The Bulldogs were able to control the pace enough in the first half to stay close but there was simply too much offensive firepower from the Tigers even without Bryce Brown who sat out the game due to injury.

Georgia fell behind by as many as 10 in the first half before they began chipping away at the lead. A 3-pointer by Tyree Crump narrowed the deficit to 33-31 with 2:16 remaining in the first half. However, the Tigers would respond closing the half with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 40-31 at the intermission.

The second half was more of the same for the Bulldogs who were able to stay within shouting distance but never really threatened to take control of the game.

Georgia pulled to within 43-39 on a bucket by Maten with 14:11 remaining but Auburn would score the next five points to push the lead back to a comfortable margin. The Bulldogs wouldn’t threaten again as the Tigers pulled away late for the win.

Maten had another quality and efficient performance finishing with 20 points and five rebounds on 8-10 shooting. Juwan Parker and Rayshaun Hammonds finished with 14 points each. Tyree Crump added nine points off the bench.

The 14 points by Hammonds were his best output since November and only the third time in the last 11 games he has scored in double figures.

Even without Brown, Auburn’s backcourt had its way with Georgia and that was ultimately the difference in the game. Jared Harper led the Tigers with 24 points and knocked down four 3-pointers while Mustapha Heron added 19. The two combined for 16-27 shooting and were 6-11 from three-point range.

Turtle Jackson did have four assists for the Bulldogs but was just 1-6 from the floor and finished with three points. Crump knocked down 3 3-point baskets but was just 3-11 from the floor.