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Hoop Hounds Pull Away Late To Win Conference Opener

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Mike White’s Bulldogs rode some hot early shooting and late defense to a conference opening road win, topping Missouri 75-68.

Big man Russel Tchewa was in fact huge on the day, scoring 18 points on 5 of 5 shooting from the field and snatching 10 rebounds. Tchewa was one of four Bulldogs in double figures, along with freshman Silas Demary (10), Noah Thomasson (15), and Justin Hill (16).

The Red and Black came out firing in CoMo, shooting 60% from the field to start the game and at one point pushing their lead to 17 with under 6:00 left in the first half. However an ensuing Mizzou run to end the first half pulled the home team to within 40-38 at the intermission.

The Black and Gold actually took the lead at the 11:23 mark of the second half. But a trio of threes by Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Demary and Hill gave the Dawgs a lead they would never relinquish.

To be sure there were signs of how far this team has to go. The Hoop Hounds trailed in turnover margin (12-8) and hit only 71.4% of free throws, including some misses down the stretch that kept the outcome in doubt longer than it needed to be. But Tchewa in particular was a menace on the boards, leading the visitors to a 26-21 edge in rebounding.

Georgia runs its record to 11-3, 1-0 in the SEC, and has now won nine games in a row for what feels like the first time since the Hoover administration. There’s obviously a lot of basketball yet to be played this season, but this is the type of solid road win that looks good on your March resume.

Next up for the Dawgs is a challenge that hasn’t always worked out well for them: coming out victorious against a solid opponent in a winnable conference home game. Georgia hosts 9-4 Arkansas at the Stege on Wednesday evening (ESPNU has television coverage). Until later…

Go ‘Dawgs!!!