Georgia head into the SEC portion of its schedule on a high note after dismantling 84-66 Friday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Bulldogs got off to a bit of a slow start falling behind 7-2 four minutes into the game. The rout was on from there however as Georgia outscored the Owls 38-16 over the final 16 minutes of the first half to take a 40-23 lead into halftime.
Georgia pushed the lead to as many as 23 points in the second half before Temple predictably made a run. The Owls whittled the deficit to 14 at 57-43 with just over 10 minutes remaining on a three-pointer by Obi Enechionyia. However, for every Temple run, the Bulldogs had an answer and Turtle Jackson knocked down a three of his own on the next possession to push the lead back to 17.
Georgia cruised home from there on the backs of a dominant performance on the boards and in the paint. The Bulldogs finished the game with a 48-30 rebounding advantage including 16 offensive boards. They hammered away at Temple’s interior finishing with 34 points in the paint and rode that aggressiveness to 39 free throw attempts of which they converted 28.
Yante Maten turned in another stellar performance with a game-high 30 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Nic Claxton pitched in 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Turtle Jackson added 10. The Bulldogs shot 47 percent for the game.
Enechionyia did all he could to keep Temple in the game finishing with a career high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting including seven made three-pointers. Otherwise, Georgia did an outstanding job defensively smothering the Owl’s leading scorer Quinton Rose.
Rose finished with 13 but was just 5-for-16 from the field and wasn’t a factor until the game was well in hand. Temple shot just 39 percent from the field for the game and twelve made three-pointers prevented it from being even more of a rout.
Georgia wraps up the early part of its non-conference schedule going 9-2. They will travel to Kansas State at the end of January as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Bulldogs will begin conference play on New Year’s Eve with a match up against Kentucky at Rupp Arena.