UGA loses in a rout to Texas A&M 82-57
The Dawgs went into College Station hoping to catch some momentum, but the Aggies had other plans.
A&M jumped out early and never looked back. Georgia gave up runs of 14-0 and 10-0 to find themselves down 38-22 at the halfway point. Georgia was hurling up three-point shots often in the first half, but few were finding the bottom of the net. The Dawgs were 4/19 from the arc and 7/29 from the floor before the break, leading to a terrible field-goal percentage of 24%. Texas A&M made 14/29 shots from the floor, leading to a 48% field-goal percentage in the opening period. The Aggies were also leading on the boards 24-14 and had just four turnovers to the Bulldogs' five.
From the opening tip it felt clear that UGA was not going to win. A first half meltdown is the big story in a UGA loss for the second game in a row. After the rough first half, the Dawgs stood no chance. Georgia finished the game making just 17 of 56 shots and were 5/31 from behind the arc- just 16% from three.
Mike White's team finished with only 7 assists to the Aggies' 22. Ball movement wins you games; you need to get the defense moving to have open shots. Buzz Williams had his Aggies moving the ball all over the court, leaving the Georgia defense with few answers on how to stop them. Williams' team finished shooting exactly 50% from the field and 37% from the three-point line. The Dawgs and Aggies both finished with ten total turnovers.
Georgia was without their leading scorer and starting point guard, Terry Roberts. He was ruled out of the game due to a concussion. Without him, a key part of the offense was taken away.
When Roberts plays, the high screen-and-roll is a mainstay of Mike White's offense. The play allows Roberts to use his speed to get to the lane and force the issue at the basket. It also allows for UGA big men Braelen Bridges and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe to get mismatches on smaller opponents off of their screens. Georgia, a team that is shooting just 34.1% from three this year (181st in the NCAA), found themselves jacking up threes all night without Roberts’ ability to breakdown the defense.
With Roberts' out, Justin Hill was the primary ball handler for the Dawgs. Hill put up 20 points, with 9 coming from the free throw line. Jabri Abdur-Rahim was the other Bulldog in double figures. The 6'8" small forward came off the bench to put up 18 points on 6/11 shooting while also adding 3 rebounds. Georgia needed a good night from athletic guard Kario Oquendo with Roberts out of the lineup, but he was just 1-6 from the field and played. Oquendo also played just 12 minutes. It is unclear if the limited floor time was due to White’s displeasure with Oquendo’s execution, an injury, or something else.
The Aggies had three players in double figures. Henry Coleman and Tyrece Radford both finished with 15 points and more than 5 assists. A&M's Dexter Dennis finished with 12 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. The Aggies have quietly become one of the best teams in the SEC, with an 8-2 record in conference play.
With the loss, the Hoop Dawgs are now to 14-9 overall with a 4-6 record in SEC play. Before criticizing Mike White and his staff, remember that this is his first year as the head man in Athens. He will need time to make the program his own. UGA has already won more than double the amount of games than what they did a year ago. Improvement has been shown.
Georgia looks to turn things around on Tuesday in The Steg against Ole Miss. Tip off is set for 7:00 PM EST on SEC Network.