Four different players scored in double figures as Georgia pulled off a 73-62 upset win over Tennessee.
Every game at this juncture is huge for the Bulldogs who have now won two straight after a stretch that saw them lose eight of 10. Georgia controlled the pace from the outset against the Volunteers. Both teams started slowly but Yante Maten kept the Bulldogs in it early scoring the team’s first eight points.
It was very much a defensive effort in the early going with the Bulldogs pulling ahead to take a 17-10 lead with just under six minutes to go in the half. Tennessee would finish the half with a 6-1 spurt to close to within 26-24 at the intermission.
Georgia went right back to work to start the second half using a 10-2 run to open up a 38-28 lead. The Vols would stay within striking distance however thanks in large part to the long range shooting of Lamonte Turner.
A tip in by Kyle Alexander trimmed Georgia’s lead to just 51-49 with 7:35 remaining. Tennesse would then come up empty on four straight opportunities to either tie or take the lead. A three-point play at the other end by Derek Ogbeide gave the Bulldogs back some breathing room.
Ogbeide came up big when Georgia needed it the most finishing the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds while going 6-7 from the field.
A three-pointer by Tyree Crump and another bucket by Ogbeide would push the lead back to eight. The Volunteers would cut it back to five twice but were unable to get any closer as Georgia closed the game out at the free throw line for the win.
Maten led the way for the Bulldogs finishing with 19 points to go along with five rebounds. Ogbeide added 16 while Crump pitched in 11 off the bench. Juwan Parker and Turtle Jackson finished with 10 each. Turner led Tennessee with 14 while Jordan Bowden added 13. Grant Williams struggled against the Bulldogs’ interior defense notching just six points on 1-8 shooting before fouling out.
The win improves Georgia to 15-11 overall and to 6-8 in conference play. The Bulldogs still have games remaining against South Carolina and LSU before wrapping up the season against Texas A&M and a rematch in Knoxville against Tennessee.
Georgia’s tournament hopes still appear remote but if they can finish strong and finish at or above .500 in the conference then they can give themselves at least chance.