Bulldogs Drop Heartbreaker to Terriers
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to Wofford, 68-65, on Sunday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
Sophomore Jabri Abdur-Rahim led the team with a career-high 20-points. Abdur-Rahim shot 6-for-7 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe, while Graduate Jailyn Ingram went 6-for-8 from the field. Sophomore Kario Oquendo tallied 10-points. Oquendo went 5-for-8 and recorded a season-high three blocked shots. The Bulldogs shot 54.3 percent from the field and made six three-pointers on 35.3 percent shooting beyond the arc.
“It was clear early that it was going to be a grinder for us to get through this,” Georgia head coach Tom Crean said. “We had some (players) that gave their very best and some who just weren’t up to the challenge of it. We have to keep finding ways to make the game simpler for them, not try to make plays that aren’t there. We will. The turnovers in the second half and the amount of free-throws that they shot in the second half, those were big turning points.”
Wofford (5-2) won the tip and scored the game's first basket. Georgia (2-5) quickly responded, going on a two-minute 9-0 run, to take a 9-3 lead. The Terriers countered the Bulldogs' run with their own 10-0 run, holding Georgia scoreless for six minutes. Georgia entered the second media timeout down, 13-10.
Ingram broke the scoring drought for the Bulldogs, and the two squads entered a defensive battle with Georgia in foul trouble — Ingram, redshirt-senior Braelen Bridges, Oquendo and freshman Christian Wright all with two fouls. The Bulldogs drew within one of the Terriers, 15-14, with 9:25 remaining and regained the lead thanks to a pair of free throws by junior Dalen Ridgnal. The game went back-and-forth before Abdur-Rahim drained a three from the top of the key to give Georgia a 33-32 lead going into halftime. The Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the field in the first half, including four three-pointers on 40 percent shooting beyond the arc.
After swapping buckets to open the second half, Georgia took a quick four-point lead, 38-34, thanks to a pair of free throws by Bridges and a fast break slam dunk by Oquendo, but the Terriers quickly tied things back up at 38 apiece. The teams continued to play defensively until Wofford went on a 7-0 run to take a 47-44 lead with 11 minutes remaining. Both teams continued to swap baskets before the Terriers jumped out to a seven-point lead, 57-50, with 6:35 left in the game.
The Bulldogs got back within two of the Terriers thanks to another slam dunk by Oquendo and a nifty jumper by Ingram, but Wofford responded with a hard-earned basket in the paint to keep the lead, 61-57 with 3:42 remaining. With one minute remaining, Aaron Cook drained a three from the wing to draw the Bulldogs within two, 65-63. Georgia had a chance to tie things up at the buzzer, but Oquendo’s three was off the mark.
Georgia will return to the court Wednesday, Dec. 1 to host No. 9 Memphis at Stegeman Coliseum. The contest will tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network. On Jan. 4, 2020, the Bulldogs defeated the ninth-ranked Tigers 65-62 in their last meeting. Georgia holds a 2-1 all-time series lead over Memphis.