Abdur-Rahim Makes Five 3-Pointers, Georgia Beats Rider 78-72
ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia men’s basketball team defeated Rider 78-72 on Wednesday behind double-digit scoring outputs from a quarter of Bulldogs in front of a sellout crowd of 10,523 at Stegeman Coliseum.
Junior Kario Oquendo and senior Terry Roberts scored a game-best 17 points each, with Oquendo also contributing four rebounds. Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 15 points on a career-most five 3-pointers, and Mardrez McBride finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.
“We found a way to win, so we continue to ride some momentum,” said head coach Mike White. “We’re a team that’s played really hard that’s been the aggressor in a lot of games, that’s dominated the glass in a lot of games to this point, and we’ve got to do that at a higher level in this league to be competitive in those areas. Those are the negatives. The way that we shot free throws; we’ve done a lot better than that. That’s another negative, and there’s probably two or three more. But, the positives are that we’re shooting the ball and executing better, we’re making better decisions with the basketball, our assists are going up, our turnovers are going down. If we can get back to the way that we rebounded, two, three, four weeks ago, combined with some of the other things we’re doing well, that’s out best version. We’ve got a way to go."
Georgia (10-3) finished 13-of-22 from beyond the arc, making the most they’ve had in a game this season and tying for ninth-most in a single game all-time. Wednesday’s win gave the team its 10th win of the year, marking the fourth time the program has reached double-digit victories before January in its 118-season history.
The sellout crowd inside of Stegeman was the first non-conference sellout since Georgia defeated UMass 91-78 on December 30, 2018.
Oquendo opened the evening with Georgia’s first seven points, including a 3-pointer to start the game. Roberts went on to add a long ball of his own to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead heading into the first media timeout.
The offense continued its hot start when Abdur-Rahim connected on a pair of threes, the team’s fourth make on six attempts in the first nine minutes. Georgia took an 18-8 advantage with senior Braelen Bridges heading to the free-throw line as Rider (5-6) called a timeout midway through the half.
The Broncs continued to fight back and close the gap during the remainder of the first half. Rider held a 21-15 edge in rebounding, including an 8-0 mark on the offensive glass, using those extra possessions to create second-chance opportunities.
The Bulldogs found success in the first half thanks to their hot hand from 3-point range. Roberts became the fourth player to make a 3-point field goal in the first half as the senior cashed a deep attempt with 7:25 remaining. Georgia finished 6-of-9 from deep in the opening frame, taking a 37-30 advantage into the locker room.
Georgia went back to its hot hands from deep early in the second half and quickly went on a 12-4 run with two 3-pointers from McBride and one each from Jaylin Ingram and Roberts, taking an 18-point lead five minutes into the period. Justin Hill was credited with the assist on Ingram’s make, giving the junior his 250th career assist. Hill finished with two points and four assists on the night.
However, Rider responded with a run of its own to again cut the lead to just 10, but Roberts was able to keep the pressure on the opponent with a step-back trey for his 15th point of the night. The Bulldogs led 66-53 heading into the under-eight timeout.
The Broncs continued hitting tough shots and got the Red and Black lead down to eight, 70-62, with just 5:24 remaining as White called his second timeout of the half. Georgia’s offense cooled off a bit down the stretch, making only two field goals on 10 attempts throughout Rider’s run.
The Bulldogs’ offensive woes continued toward the end of the game, as Rider closed the gap to three points. However, Frank Anslem went to work on the glass on the following possession, getting three offensive rebounds that led to an Abdur-Rahim three. Rider’s Mervin James made a layup to put the score at 74-70 as the Broncs called a timeout with 1:49 left.
James put down a put-back with a minute remaining which put the Georgia advantage to just 74-72. After a miss from Oquendo at the rim, Bridges grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled on his putback attempt. The center sank both of his free throws to seal the game.
The Bulldogs’ next game will mark the start of conference play as Georgia welcomes the No. 20 Auburn Tigers in Stegeman on Wednesday, January 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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